Liu Xiaobo protest at Times Square put building management in a tight spot
Your article, “Hong Kong activists heed legal threats and move statue of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo from Times Square mall” (June 19), refers to comments from the organisers of the protests that the area they had occupied was a “public space”.
I happen to be a resident of Causeway Bay and a frequent visitor to Times Square. The space where the protesters set up their stall and other materials, underneath the landmark clock tower and the plaque with the Times Square logo, was within close vicinity of the main buildings of Times Square, a privately owned property.
Although it is an open space which attracts many other people to hold different activities, including busking, it is not a “public space” without any restrictions. It would be quite apparent to visitors to Times Square that the open space is owned and administered by the management of the complex, and any activities held at the open space should be endorsed by it.
Although I do not have a view on whether it is a nuisance or not to have the protesters demonstrate on an apparently private site, having them there would give the wrong impression that the management of Times Square endorses such prolonged protests.
Since the space concerned is in the vicinity of the private property of Times Square, and in the interest of giving the users of the open space a fair and equal opportunity to enjoy it, I suggest the management of Times Square set up clear guidelines on “dos and don’ts” for the users of the open piazza. This would be similar to how a visitor to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s facilities has to follow the rules and regulations when enjoying the space.
Avery Tsui, Wan Chai