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Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

Plan for 'Lady Liberty Hong Kong' pro-democracy statue surpasses HK$200k crowdfunding goal within hours

A group has successfully raised funds for a four-metre-tall pro-democracy statue called “Lady Liberty Hong Kong.” The team behind the idea are from the arts and design sector. They gathered on the Reddit-like LIHKG forum and conducted a vote among users, asking them to choose one of eight designs.

On Tuesday, they launched a crowdfunding campaign, which reached HK$203,933 within six hours.

“We are sincerely grateful for the trust and support from the general public in envisioning the creation of the statue,” a spokesperson for the team wrote.

“[W]e vow to utilise the crowdfunding to the best of our ability. We have a strong passion to stand with HK.”

The team said the design was inspired by the outfit of Hong Kong protesters, who often wore yellow helmets, goggles and gas masks during the summer’s anti-extradition law demonstrations.

The right hand of the statue will be holding an umbrella, and the left hand would be holding a banner that reads “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times” – a commonly-used slogan for the movement.

“[It represents] the unparalleled bravery of Hongkongers in voicing out amidst [the] rain of bullets and tear gas in the prolonged anti-extradition bill movement,” the team said.

The gauze on the right eye in a reference to an incident whereby a woman had her right eye ruptured by what appeared to be a police bean bag round.

“It represents the eternal pain Hongkongers endured,” the team said.

The team said the statue will be unveiled on Saturday. However, it is unclear if the plan will change, as a scheduled protest was cancelled for Saturday owing to a police ban.

After Saturday, organisers hope to display 20 copies across Hong Kong.

They estimated that HK$200,000 will be needed for the project and the rest of the funds gathered will be donated to the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund to support protesters.

The ill-fated extradition bill would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to China, which lacks rights protections. Since June, large-scale peaceful protests have morphed into – sometimes violent – displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy, alleged police brutality, surveillance and other community grievances.

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