Wedding Card Street protester resumes vigil after hospital visit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 December, 2007, 12:00am

The 59-year-old Wedding Card Street protester who was taken to hospital on Thursday after a 92-hour hunger strike said yesterday she would be happy to do it all again.

'The doctor told me that at my age, every hour fasting was like living for a year,' said May Yip Mee-yung, formerly a vendor in the street in Wan Chai.

'But if I were to choose again, I would still take the hard road because the public's attention was drawn to Wedding Card Street and the redevelopment issues in Hong Kong.'

Ms Yip, of the H15 Concern Group comprising residents and business operators in Lee Tung Street, once home to numerous wedding card shops, began the hunger strike on Sunday in an attempt to stop demolition of the street's tenements. She was taken to hospital following a meeting with Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

'I ate congee on Thursday night and I was discharged at around 1pm [yesterday],' she said.

After resting at home yesterday afternoon, she went back to the street to continue her silent protest.

She said a former neighbour visited her when she was fasting. She hugged Ms Yip, and said her husband had died soon after they moved out of the street.

'The old woman told me they both felt lonely living in their new home. They knew no one and could only say hello to the security guard in the lobby,' Ms Yip said.

'It is important to raise public awareness that the affected shop owners or residents should be given the option to continue staying in the same area after a redevelopment project is completed,' she said.

Ms Yip used to live in Johnston Road, Wan Chai, and moved to a staircase shop in Lee Tung Street in 1999.

The Urban Renewal Authority plans to develop Lee Tung Street into a themed area for wedding-related stores. All but three tenement buildings will be demolished. The H15 Concern Group wants the tenement buildings preserved and opposes a planned underground car park, saying it would divert too much traffic into the old part of Wan Chai.