Club 71

Continuing my new-found nostalgia for all things Hong Kong…

This sign seems to make Club 71 out to be some humping night-club in some gritty backstreet, but it’s not.

Yes, it’s in a backstreet. And yes, the street is gritty. But that’s it. It’s actually a small, bright, clean pub/bar covered in political slogans for democracy; brochures and leaflets for various movements ranging from environmental to aid for political prisoners; and a messy mural of sorts on the back wall with guitars, banjos and drums hanging about.

This place doesn’t serve food, but patrons are welcome to bring in or order take-out from nearby restaurants.

It’s known as a gathering place for the LGBT, artists, political ativists, environmentalists, and whatever other forms of “alternative” thoughts out there.

Tables are low, music is soft, lighting is bright. It’s a place for conversations, discussions, debates and plots.

The “71” in the name refers to the annual protest rally held every July 1st that first started in 2003 against the legislation of an anti-subversion law. It was the biggest protest in Hong Kong since the handover in 1997. Only the 1989 pro-democracy march over the Tiannamen Square incident drew larger crowds.

On busy nights, people spill out onto the back street on foldable rickety tables and chairs and hang-out with the many street cats.

I go there from time to time, put my feet up, play a boardgame, and pretend to be “alternative”.

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