Hong Kong protests: City prepares for traffic chaos as ‘walk to work’ demonstration planned for Friday


Commuters are being urged to go to school and work by foot as a way to integrate the ongoing anti-government protests into daily life

Kelly Ho |

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Commuters should prepare for traffic jams on Friday.

Traffic in multiple districts in Hong Kong may be disrupted on Friday morning, as netizens are calling for commuters to walk to school or work as part of the ongoing anti-government protests.

The activity was initiated on the local forum LIHKG, a platform that has been widely used by protesters to plan their actions.

The event is set to take place at 7am in four commercial districts in the city. On Hong Kong Island, commuters are encouraged to walk from Chater Garden to Sheung Wan via Des Voeux Road Central, or from the Fortress Hill MTR station to Taikoo Place along King’s Road. Those travelling to work or school in Kowloon are asked to walk from the Kowloon Bay MTR station to Kwun Tong along Kwun Tong Road, or from the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok along Nathan Road.

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The organisers said the event is to “test the water” before staging more protest activities in the future. Their ultimate aim is to mobilise citizens to integrate protests into everyday life.

“It is a good idea, Hongkongers love going to work and school ... we can bring protests and demonstrations into our daily lives,” one netizen wrote.

“I’m excited to do a morning exercise like that,” another netizen wrote. “If the event is successful, maybe we can extend it to the New Territories next time.”

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Some secondary students, who will be going to school around the same time, see the event as a creative and peaceful means of protesting, but they are worried it may lead to serious traffic congestion on the day.

“I’m not too concerned if the protesters are only using the pedestrian roads, but if there are many of them, then it is very likely that roads will be blocked and it will lead to traffic jams,”said Cynthia So, a Form Six student at Creative Secondary School.

“I’m not sure if it is an effective way to achieve their demands, but it is definitely effective in grabbing the attention of the media and the public,” the 17-year-old added.

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Another student said he will set off from home earlier on Friday, in case more travelling time is needed.

Meanwhile, more protests have been planned for this week. Tomorrow night, protesters will form a human chain outside the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, in Admiralty.

Pending police approval, a rally will be held in Chater Garden on Thursday night in a show of solidarity with protesters in Catalonia in Spain. The organisers said they are advocating for the human rights and freedom of Catalonians who are battling riot police as they seek the region’s independence from Spain.