A large crowd of people gathered at Edinburgh Place in Central on Sunday at a rally looking back at the almost seven months of social unrest in Hong Kong – and to try to drum up more support to reinvigorate the protest movement in the coming year.
Rally organisers put the turnout at 4,000.
One of the organisers, who calls himself ‘V’, said there has been a relative lull in protest action since more than a thousand people were arrested in a police siege of Polytechnic University over a month ago, but they’re hoping that people will now “get more involved into this revolution.”
“We’re trying to help others to march on,” he said. “The main theme is we have to march on and turn sorrow into passion and continue to reaffirm our five demands to the government.”
One participant, J, brought his friend from Ukraine to the rally. He said he hopes a major march planned for New Year’s Day will raise the ‘temperature’ of the protests, saying he hopes there will be a “good outcome for the protests, for the future of Hong Kong.”
Participants wrote messages on a long black banner placed in the corridor outside City Hall, marked with dates of major events of the protest movement starting from June.
Many took off their shoes to get onto the banner to write their own messages, careful not to get it dirty or wet.
A lock was placed on a flagpole carrying the national flag after one was ripped down during a similar rally last week.
But unlike the previous protest, this one remained peaceful, with no confrontations between participants and police.
Some protesters warned that demonstrations will continue so long as the government does not accept all five of the movement’s core demands – including amnesty for protesters, and an independent probe into alleged police brutality.
One woman said she’s been to every single peaceful protest she could over the past six months, and she’s not going to stop.
“In 2019, the government has stopped listening to us”, she said. “As long as the government doesn’t face the problem – the police violence in Hong Kong – the protests won’t calm down.”
Last updated: 2019-12-29 HKT 19:34
Rallygoers call for more protest action in new year
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