Andy Lau among celebrities to add support to last night of HKTV protest
Celebrities , including actor Andy Lau, offer support to huge crowd as sit-in continues over government's TV licence decision
Celebrities, including actor Andy Lau Tak-wah, offered their support to the tens of thousands of protesters outside government headquarters last night.
It was the sixth and probably final night of the week-long protest of the government's decision to deny Hong Kong Television Network's (HKTV) free-to-air TV licence application.
The space outside Tamar government headquarters, also known as Civic Square, and Tin Mei Avenue were packed within half an hour of the protest start at 8pm.
Those who were unable to squeeze into the space were later directed to Tamar Park and the Legco car park.
HKTV crew and actors, as well as industry veterans, took turns to share their thoughts on stage.
Celebrities including Anita Yuen Wing-yee and Ekin Cheng were also among the protestors captured in a film shown on big screens erected in Civic Square. Actor Paul Chun Pui also appeared on stage with his children, HKTV artists Benji and Lesley Chiang.
HKTV staff union chairman Henry Yeung Chi-ho estimated more than 100,000 people attended the rally.
Police said that by 10.30pm, the number peaked at 11,900.
Singer and actor Andy Lau, whom some joked would make an ideal chief executive candidate because of his popularity, showed his support in a video broadcast at the rally. When his message was shown on screen, some screamed: "The chief executive speaks!"
The crowd's emotions were stirred when British singer Kashy Keegan performed his London Olympics anthem This is My Dream. The song was later adopted by HKTV.
"I'm really touched people have embraced the song and got behind it ... It's about persevering," said Keegan.
Lyricist Lin Xi also drew a big response from the crowd. "The nature of creativity is revolution," he said. "If you talk about your dream, and no one says you're crazy, your dream stinks like preserved fish."
Veteran actor Chun's arrival on stage came as a surprise. "Support HKTV!" he exclaimed. "When I said I wanted to enter the industry, my parents said, 'You've got to work hard and be prepared.'
"Now my daughter has asked me the same question, and I gave her the same answer. She can do it as long as she likes it and is willing to work hard. But how would I know if the government thinks otherwise?"
Actress Yoyo Mung Ka-wai said: "I have always thought there could only be improvements when there is competition. Why should we make ourselves stop? Why can't we be given the chance to improve?"
Annie Lee, a fashion retailer, was at the rally with her husband, who is a civil servant at the Labour Department. She said they had been sitting outside government headquarters every evening since Sunday, and that they would bring their three children with them to future rallies.
"It's unacceptable that the government ignored the people's will without giving a reason," said Lee.