Lunchtime protests in Hong Kong’s central business district continued on Monday with some demonstrators holding up blank sheets of paper and graphic designs, but riot police entered the IFC mall to conduct checks as soon as the group started a “Liberate Hong Kong” chant.
A handful of demonstrators had gathered at the mall, where they chanted anti-government protest slogans, such as “five demands, not one less”. They held up sheets of plain white paper after the government last week issued a statement linking the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” slogan to separatism.
The group also sang an altered version of the protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong”, replacing the words in the lyrics with numbers.
A group of police officers in riot gear had been stationed outside the mall, but moved in to conduct checks when the group started chanting “Liberate Hong Kong”. Some media liaison officers were sporting helmets with reflective visors.
They questioned some of the protesters for a while before leaving, but did not detain anyone.
One of the protesters who had held up a placard with a graphic design said the officers had threatened to arrest him, saying some words on it were visible from a distance.
But he said he disputed this by saying a number of people had asked what the graphic meant and the officers decided to let him go after seeking advice from their superiors.
A protester, who gave his name as Tam, said they had held up blank sheets of paper to show there is a “white terror“ in Hong Kong now.
He said the blank paper symbolises two things: “One is to show that there is a 'white terror' in Hong Kong. Also, this white paper represents the national security law,” he told RTHK's Joanne Wong.
“There are a lot of words in the national law. But actually [it] can be interpreted by CCP [Chinese Communist Party],” he said. “They can interpret it in any way.”
Another protester named Ho said he didn’t know there was going to protest but decided to join the group to show that there is no need to be afraid if you are holding a peaceful protest.
He said he had joined such protests earlier also but had changed slogans now as shouting some of the old ones could mean “immediate prosecution” under the new law.
Last updated: 2020-07-06 HKT 16:45
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