Hong Kong protests: Students hold concert at Festival Walk to perform anthems and air grievances

Teens from more than 20 schools in Kowloon gathered at the shopping mall to discuss Carrie Lam's first dialogue and their feelings about the ongoing demonstrations

Veronica Lin |

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A group of student musicians played popular protest songs live.

At least 300 secondary school students performed a concert at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong this evening. Participants were from 22 schools in Kowloon, including Maryknoll Convent School, Diocesan Boys’ School, St Paul’s School, Ng Wah Catholic Secondary School and True Light Girls’ College. 

Most were masked and dressed in school uniforms, with stickers that read “Glory to Hong Kong” covering their school logos. Some also wore goggles, balaclavas, and brought posters, banners and laser pens and Pepe the Frog toys. One student was seen handing out white ribbons from a Taipan mooncake box, a brand whose products were boycotted on the mainland after netizens deemed it pro-democracy. 

Shortly before 5.30pm, students began gathering at the mall, shouting slogans such as “Freedom Hong Kong”, “Five demands, not one less”, and “There are no rioters, there’s only tyranny”. 

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The “concert” began with students observing a moment of silence. Without a set list, student representatives took turns speaking on the megaphone, asking which songs attendees wanted to hear.  

They first played a recorded version of protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong, after which a group of seven student musicians, including one playing the guitar, two on melodicas and the last on the erhu, played it live to loud cheers from the crowd. 

Then they belted out several songs targeted at the Hong Kong police, including several protest-related rap songs containing strong language. These songs, along with Glory to Hong Kong, Do You Hear the People Sing?, and classics like 海闊天空 (Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies) by Beyond, were played on a loop, alternating between recordings and live performances. 

At least 300 students took part in this evening's musical protest.
Photo: Veronica Lin

At around 6pm, more adults have joined the students in chanting slogans from the upper floors. Hundreds of posters were dropped on students, outraging one of the student representatives who shouted profanities in Cantonese after claiming that certain onlookers were spitting on them from above.

Students then took turns sharing their experiences on the megaphone. 

One female student said Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-nor’s dialogue with Hong Kong citizens in Wan Chai yesterday was “a total PR stunt”. “Nothing of substance came out of it,” she says, “and most importantly, she made it clear that she wasn’t going to meet the rest of our demands.”

This students was overwhelmed, talking about her aunt

Another female student broke down in tears as she told the crowd that her aunt had died on Wednesday, and that she died fighting for the city’s freedom. 

“Now’s not the time to give up,” said one male student, adding that the protests must continue to ensure the safety and freedoms of future generations. “We have to continue our fight, so the next generation won’t be faced with tear gas or rubber bullets.”  

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“Ideas are bullet-proof,” he added. “The government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around. And they weren’t elected by the people, so they have no right to represent us.”

The concert concluded at a quarter to seven, with students representatives calling everyone present to attend the rally at Edinburgh Place that was due to start at 7.30pm.