HK protesters in Sha Tin showered with support and supplies even from 10 floors up

16-Jul-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Protesters who swarmed the streets of Sha Tin on Sunday in the latest extradition bill demonstration received an unusual form of support from well-meaning local residents: they were showered with supplies from the flats above.

Residents of Lucky Plaza and Lek Yuen Estate began tossing down protest necessities such as water bottles, umbrellas and cling wrap soon after scuffles broke out between protesters and police officers near Yuen Wo Sports Centre, just a few blocks away.

Sometimes coming from as high as 10 floors up, the umbrellas were deliberately opened so they would float to the ground without hurting anyone. Protesters who made it to a convenience store on the second floor of Lucky Plaza also threw supplies down to their comrades on the ground.

The unexpected help was met with cheers and applause from the protest crowd.

“Tears welled up in my eyes when I saw rolls of plastic wraps being thrown out one after one,” said Yen Tsang So-lai, a Sha Tin district councillor of the Democratic Party.

“People have always been asking where do the supplies of the protesters come from. I guess the answer is obvious, isn’t it?”

The Sunday march in Sha Tin a suburban residential district in the New Territories was the latest attempt by protesters to spread their extradition bill cause across Hong Kong. Organisers estimated that 110,000 people attended the rally but police put the number at 28,000.

A protest was also held in Tsim Sha Tsui on July 7.

Following a month of turmoil triggered by the now-suspended bill, Hongkongers appeared increasingly well trained in protests. The extradition bill could have allowed the transfer of fugitives to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no official agreement.

At one point on Sunday, hundreds of mostly young protesters swiftly formed a long chain along Sha Tin Centre Street to pass supplies hundreds of metres to the front.

The protesters then created makeshift shields by wrapping cardboard boxes with cling film and attaching them to plastic bottles.

Protesters also took the chance to vent their anger against restaurant chain Yoshinoya. In recent days, the chain’s pro-government boss pulled a social media post that made fun of the police for tearing down anti-bill messages from a “Lennon Wall” in Tai Po.

Although the Yoshinoya outlet at Lucky Plaza was shut down ahead of the march, protesters took planks installed beforehand to protect the glass walls as another Lennon Wall and left behind messages such as “boycott” and “antagonised the people”.

A designer, who only gave his surname as Mak and did not join the protest, offered his support to the movement by adding notes to the impromptu “Lennon Wall” that sprang up at the Yoshinoya storefront.

“We are going to keep protesting. The government needs to withdraw the bill and stop calling protests ‘riots’,” he said, referring to the violent clashes between the protesters and police outside the legislature on June 12.


Category: Hong Kong

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