Protests mark seven months since Yuen Long rampage - RTHK
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Protests mark seven months since Yuen Long rampage

2020-02-21 HKT 14:29
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  • Protests mark seven months since Yuen Long rampage
  • The protesters brought beer to 'celebrate' news that a police officer has caught the coronavirus. Photo: RTHK
    The protesters brought beer to 'celebrate' news that a police officer has caught the coronavirus. Photo: RTHK
  • Dozens joined a protest in the Landmark, as police grouped outside the mall. Photo: RTHK
    Dozens joined a protest in the Landmark, as police grouped outside the mall. Photo: RTHK
  • Riot police were out in force in Kwun Tong (pictured) as well as in Kowloon Bay.
    Riot police were out in force in Kwun Tong (pictured) as well as in Kowloon Bay.
Joanne Wong reports
Hundreds of black-clad protesters wearing gathered at Yoho Mall in Yuen Long on Friday evening to mark seven months since brutal attacks by gangs of white-shirted men in and around the MTR station there, injuring dozens of people.

They took part in a sit-in at the mall, many holding up banners bearing familiar protest slogans such as "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times". As businesses pulled down their shutters, some protesters broke into song, while one was seen opening up a bottle of champagne.

The Yuen Long MTR station was closed since five in the afternoon, in a move the railway said was necessary to ensure the safety of passengers and staff.

Dozens of riot police were standing by near the mall's entrance, but stayed outside.

This follows several lunchtime protests, including one involving more than 50 in the high-end Landmark mall in Central, where demonstrators vowed not to ever forget the attack on July 21 last year.

A protester clad all in black held up a banner saying "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times", while some of the posters displayed made reference to the coronavirus outbreak.

The crowd had several bottles of Corona beer to "celebrate" news that a Hong Kong police officer has contracted the virus.

One woman, surnamed Chan, said the authorities are failing to protect the people and this has left her feeling depressed.

"I think the most important problem is the police, because they ignore the people who are in danger," she said.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was among those attacked at the station in Yuen Long, also joined the Central protest.

"The Yuen Long attack was a turning point in Hong Kong. After that, Hong Kong people no longer believe in the police force anymore. So, I think it is very crucial for Hong Kong to find out the whole truth of the Yuen Long attack, why the police didn't deploy any officers to prevent the attack from happening," Lam said.

Riot police were also out in force to handle demonstrators in Kwun Tong, as well as in Kowloon Bay where they searched a number of young people.

Around the time of the July 21 attack, police received more than 24,000 calls to the 999 hotline from the Yuen Long area.

But it took them 39 minutes to respond to the emergency, by which time scores of people had been brutally beaten, with at least 45 put in hospital.

The public's fury later rocketed when TV footage in the hours after the atrocity showed police officers in the area chatting to groups of men resembling the attackers, with their white T-shirts and various kinds of weapons in their hands.

In December, senior superintendent Kong Wing-cheung – a familiar face from police press briefings on extradition bill protests – blamed the victims of the gang rampage for the violence, claiming they had gone to Yuen Long with the intention of provoking their attackers.


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Last updated: 2020-02-21 HKT 21:54