After months of protests by black-clad demonstrators demanding democracy in Hong Kong, China has come up with a new countermeasure—banning the export of black clothes from the mainland to the territory. The South China Morning Post reports that customs officials in mainland China have ordered courier firms not to send black clothes, and many other items used by protesters, across the border. One firm says the list of items it is banned from delivering to Hong Kong includes "yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, poster banners, gloves, masks, black T-shirts, metal rods, fluorescent tubes, bludgeon clubs." Protesters mocked the move as ludicrous, noting that they could always protest wearing different colors—or buy clothes imported from different countries.
At courier giant SF Express in Beijing, a spokesman tells the Post that while other colors of clothes are fine, the ban on black clothes is being strictly enforced. "All goods mailed to Hong Kong will be severely investigated," he says, which adds about two days to the standard time it takes for goods to arrive. In Hong Kong, meanwhile, angry pro-democracy lawmakers forced leader Carrie Lam out of the legislature for the second day in a row Thursday, the AP reports. Security guards later removed from the chamber 14 lawmakers who had been protesting an attack on pro-democracy leader Jimmy Sham, who was hospitalized Wednesday night after being ambushed by several attackers armed with knives and hammers. (The House passed three resolutions Tuesday supporting the protesters.)