Occupy Central

Handmade bamboo barriers show creative side of Occupy activists

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 3:08pm

Occupy activists showed craftsmanship as well as resilience yesterday by erecting bamboo barricades hours after police and anti-Occupy protesters cleared some of their blockades.

They built a number of large barricades to defend and block Queensway, east-bound and west-bound.

Self-employed information technology worker Alec Lee, 45, said: "I only learned how to do this when I came here. There were some construction workers teaching us how it can be done.

"The thing is, the police said this morning they were just retrieving government property when they took away railings and cleared some of our barricades. Now they can't use the same excuse because the bamboo is private property."

Protesters said some unknown supporters transported dozens of pieces of bamboo, each several metres long, for them to build the barricades in the afternoon.

Guided by supportive construction workers, they said, they cut the bamboo into shorter pieces and used plastic cuffs to bind the pieces together.

They crossed the bamboo lengths through rubbish bins to make the barricades stronger. They also used cement to weigh some down to the ground.

The bamboo barricades were each about 6 metres wide and 4 metres long, blocking both the east-bound and west-bound lanes of Queensway.

It was also the first time that 20-year-old protester Daven Chau had built a bamboo scaffold. He said he was aware that some protesters wanted to open up Queensway to minimise the disruption it caused.

"In fact I need to go past here almost every day, so this is inconvenient for me as well. But we need to have some bargaining powers if we want to press the government to talk to us," said Chau, who studies electrical engineering at City University.

A construction worker passing by said he was impressed by the craftsmanship, saying the barricades would hold even if a car rammed into it.

"But it would be another story if it is a truck," he said.

Some of the barricade reinforcements were made possible by donations of material. At one roadblock on Connaught Road Central well-wishers left iron chains, metal wires and bicycle locks. Iron barricades have been bound together by layers of cling film and some are weighed down with concrete blocks or bags of stones

In Causeway Bay, protesters have also fortified barricades by weighing them down with cement and wrapping them with cellophane.