Protesters’ newest theme song, ‘Glory to HK’, echoes through city’s shopping malls as crowds gather for peaceful rallies

12-Sep-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Anti-government demonstrators swamped major shopping arcades across Hong Kong on Tuesday night for a series of “singing” protests in their latest efforts against the now-shelved extradition bill.

The movement’s newest theme song Glory to Hong Kong echoed through the malls as the protesters sang together while chants of “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times” and “Stand with Hong Kong” also erupted intermittently.

The new song has spread like wildfire recently, replacing the previously popular Sing Hallelujah to the Lord and Do You Hear the People Sing, a number also commonly heard during the 2014 Occupy protests.

A local musician was said to have composed Glory to Hong Kong in response to an online call for a theme song to unite protesters and boost their morale. Users of online forums suggested lyrics as word of the production went viral.

Some protesters now regard it as Hong Kong’s “national anthem”.

The mall action, inspired by calls on online forums, was part of the campaign to demand, among others, an independent inquiry into police’s handling of protests and democratic reforms.

The rallies were peaceful, in sharp contrast to the scenes of escalating violence between protesters and police over the past three months that have resulted in the deployment of water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds.

Protesters arriving in groups on Tuesday evening were joined by others. As the apparently leaderless crowds grew, they began shouting slogans and singing protest songs.

One of the biggest rallies was in MOSTown shopping centre in Ma On Shan in the New Territories, where a crowd of about 1,000, comprising mainly black-clad young people, showed up, filling up every corner.

In an open space outside an MTR mall in Wong Tai Sin, hundreds also staged a rally, shouting “Revolution of our times” and “Five demands, not one less” as they waved their mobile phones with the flashlight turned on.

Vivian Tse, 22, who studies nursing at Tung Wah College, joined the rally. “This song [Glory to Hong Kong] shows the process of more than three months of protest. It tells how we got to the current stage.

“From peaceful protest in the beginning to police violence. I have been involved from the beginning. I have a deep feeling for this.”

In Mong Kok, about 300 protesters, mostly in masks and dark clothes, gathered at Moko shopping centre shortly before 10pm. Their chants and songs filled what would otherwise have been a quiet complex as it was about to close.

Ms Tang, a Mong Kok resident who took part in the rally, said Glory to Hong Kong was a great representation of the agony the city had gone through over the past few months and the hopes that people still held for the future.

“I cry listening to the song,” she said, adding that she especially liked its optimistic ending a wish for glory, justice, freedom and democracy to emerge in the city.

Simon Cheung, 30, who joined the rally with two friends, said the event was a way to express their demands. “And also [a way] to support each other so we feel we are not alone.”

Cheung also wanted the government to “come clean” on the events in Prince Edward station on August 31, as he said a press conference by the MTR and various government departments earlier on Tuesday had failed to quash rumours that some protesters died there during a crackdown by riot police.

The atmosphere at Moko was peaceful and cheerful. The rally lasted for about 40 minutes, before everyone left the mall, clapping and cheering.

Moko is owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s largest developer by valuation. The company came under fire in July after a violent clash between protesters and police inside a mall it owns in Sha Tin. Some demonstrators blamed the mall management for allowing police onto the property.

Elsewhere, at the MTR’s Popcorn mall in Tseung Kwan O, more than 200 people gathered in an atrium at about 8.50pm and sang protest songs. There were reportedly similar protests at Tai Po Mega Mall, owned by SHKP, and outside Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung.

Meanwhile, protesters who said they were local residents went to “repair” a “Lennon Wall” in a subway near Man Kuk Lane Park in Tseung Kwan O by sticking new messages and anti-government bills on it.


Category: Hong Kong

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