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The chalked flowers were drawn around an Occupy umbrella symbol. Photo: SCMP

Police to let public graffiti 'Lennon Wall' as Chalk Girl thanks Hongkongers for support

After fencing off the 'Lennon Wall' at the former Occupy protest site in Admiralty last week, police relented, letting members of the public draw on the concrete in chalk.

Samuel Chan

After fencing off the "Lennon Wall" at the former Occupy protest site in Admiralty last week, police relented yesterday, letting members of the public draw on the concrete in chalk.

The U-turn came as more supporters of a 14-year-old girl arrested for criminal damage on December 23 gathered at the site on Harcourt Road.

The girl was sent to a children's home last week for allegedly drawing two flowers in chalk on the wall which, during the protests, was covered with thousands of colourful paper notes bearing pro-democracy messages. Those who turned up at the site to support the girl last week were stopped when they tried to chalk slogans on the wall.

Last night, a police spokeswoman said only that the wall was not under its management and officers would act only when asked to by officials. It is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which has put up "No graffiti" and "Post no bills" signs since the girl's arrest.

Meanwhile, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has thanked the public for their support in an open letter on her Facebook page, signing off as "Chalk Girl". The girl spent two nights at the Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home before the High Court overturned an earlier court order for her to remain there for three weeks. She was released on bail until January 19.

"Ever since my arrest, I have been moved by the amount of support I have received and that makes me feel no longer alone," she wrote. "I am just a 14-year-old and an ordinary Form Three student. What happened caught my family and me by surprise and is … beyond what we can handle.

"Adhering to senior counsel Martin Lee Chu-ming's advice, I hope every one of you, elder brothers and sisters who work in the media in particular, can give us some space. My family and I wish to face this together in peace so we will say no to all requests for interviews. I hope to spend the next two weeks together with my family and stay at home to think."

Student group Scholarism said over 55,000 people signed a petition demanding to know why a protection order was sought.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Police take new line on 'Lennon Wall' graffiti