Three student activists arrested for using M&M's to attract followers in prison
Police seized M&M's, baby powder and dried shredded squid as they arrested three core members of Student Politicism, claiming they attempted to attract followers in prison using the seized items as “gifts”.
The arrested also urged the public not to use the LeaveHomeSafe app and spread messages inciting hatred against the government, police said.
Steve Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of police under the national security department, said they have arrested two men and one woman for conspiracy to incite subversion of state power during a morning operation on Monday.
The three, aged 18 to 20, were said to be the group’s convener Wong Yat-chin, secretary general Chan Chi-sum and former spokeswoman Chu Wai-ying.
The trio was accused of distributing materials that incite hatred against the government, organize activities that gather those with similar goals and recruit followers in prison by offering them gifts.
Officers searched a storage unit at Wah Sing Industrial Building in Kwai Chung this morning, seizing a number of items that Li said were on the Correctional Services Department’s “Approved Hand-in Articles” list, which allows certain brands of snacks, stationery and toiletries to be brought in to inmates.
The items seized include snacks and daily necessities including M&M's, dried shredded squid, biscuits, baby powder, towels and sanitary pads.
Li said the three had attempted to use these items to recruit followers in prison to endanger national security.
Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung earlier warned that some remanded inmates tried using chocolate and hair clips as gifts to recruit followers in prisons and "build forces" to endanger national security.
Li also said the group had used its Mong Kok office as a site to gather people with similar goals and to continue to incite hatred towards the government.
“They have disseminated messages such as urging followers to practice martial arts to prepare for a revolution, also stating that the revolution will target the communist regime,” said Li.
Back on July 1 this year, police arrested four members including Wong and Chan after they had set up a street booth in Mong Kok.
They were arrested for distributing seditious publications.
They were arrested also in June for calling upon people to gather without authorization in remembrance of Tiananmen crackdown on June 4.
The group once wrote on social media that that resistance using force is the only way out.