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Friday, Dec 04, 2020

Hong Kong protests: rare day of peace as protesters spend Saturday raising awareness of movement

Event in Causeway Bay sees people post promotional materials on footbridge on Hennessy Road. In Sha Tin group promotes ‘yellow’ businesses in the area

Hong Kong experienced a peaceful Saturday as protesters staged small promotional events in town for like-minded businesses and upcoming rallies.

In Admiralty, protesters initially planned to stick promotional materials and sticky notes to re-form a “Lennon Wall” near government headquarters from 2pm. A Lennon Wall is an area where messages of support for protesters are posted.

But with a heavy presence of riot police in the area, about two dozen protesters took trams to Causeway Bay later in the afternoon to decorate the blue footbridge at the junction of Hennessy Road and Percival Street with stickers and posters.

Some were written with slogans such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times!”, while the others promoted the upcoming rallies this month.

Admiralty’s Lennon Wall, posted with collages of Post-it notes, was a landmark feature of the 2014 Occupy protests. It was located next to an outdoor staircase at the headquarters.

Since the unrest, triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill, snowballed into a months-long anti-government movement, Lennon Walls have sprung up across the city’s 18 districts, mostly in public areas such as footbridges and underpasses, and have also been the flashpoints for clashes between protesters and those who support the authorities and police.

Teacher Renit Wong, 35, was one of those who posted promotional material at the footbridge in Causeway Bay. She noted many Lennon Walls across the city had been cleared by authorities, so she would like to redecorate them. She admitted the movement had quietened down, but hoped her work would be seen by more residents.

“It’s a good promotion. A lot of people can see these,” she said.

A 16-year-old student, who only gave their surname of Kwong, echoed that sentiment. She said when protesters tried to make Lennon Walls in their areas, the material would be cleared in two or three days.

“We want to keep igniting the passion of the movement,” she said.

Over in Sha Tin a group of elderly people who support the protests organised an event inside New Town Plaza to promote “yellow” businesses in the area.

Shops and service providers who support protesters are deemed “yellow”, while those with mainland Chinese backgrounds or those that support the police are put in the “blue” camp.

The group handed out fliers with information on yellow restaurants and retailers, as well as list of day-to-day products listing out their places of origin.

A retiree in her 60s, who gave her name as Chong, said she hoped to support the protesters by spending more at yellow businesses.

“For instance, I go to a salon that employs the youngsters,” she said.

Chong conceded she could not withstand the more physically demanding protests and wanted to find alternative ways of supporting the movement.

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