After a lull in the Hong Kong protests to accommodate the District Council 2019 elections, secondary students and senior citizens are joining a peaceful rally at Chater Garden in Central Hong Kong at 2pm today to gather momentum for the city’s ongoing anti-government movement.
Jointly organised by the “Silver Hair” group and secondary students, the assembly will feature speakers and performers from all walks of life, including former chemistry lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Dr Kenneth Kwong Si-san and local teen boyband Boyz Reborn.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 5.00pm]
As the peaceful unity rally between students and the silver-haired protesters comes to a close, artwork by a local illustrator is up for grabs. The cards bear slogans from the movies V for Vendetta and the documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom.
The rally was wrapped up with a rousing version of Glory to Hong Kong and Can You Hear the People Sing, led by an Italian tenor, Stefano.
For more coverage on this and tomorrow's protests, head to scmp.com.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 4.30pm]
A 17-year-old student who wished only to be known by his surname, Sin, said he was at the rally to show Hongkongers that all the anti-government protesters, including the frontline ones like him, hope that their voices can be heard at peaceful, rational and non-violent protests one day.
Sin, who studies at a secondary school in the northern district, said he decided to join the protests in August after allegations of police collaborating with triad members to carry out the attack on protesters and citizens in Yuen Long on July 21. “Even though I’m not athletic, I’ve decided to join the frontline. Not being fit enough is no excuse for being less engaged in the movement. But, Sin says, the after school action is taking its toll in the classroom where he struggles to keep awake. “I also stay up very late to follow the development of the movement, and often doze off during lessons.” Several teachers have asked him to put more time on his studies and be less involved in the movement” he told Young Post.
While he is constantly worried about being arrested, he is also concerned about the DSE in 2020.
“But every time I ask myself to choose between DSE and fighting the battle, I always choose the latter - Because I really love Hong Kong.”
[UPDATE: November 30 - 4.16pm]
A speaker delivers an open letter from a volunteer Chinese medicine group: We first started with HK$1,000 and we were only a group of six. We volunteer to provide medical services to protesters who are injured. More than 1,000 people came to us before. Ninety per cent of them are teens and they are scared of going to see the doctor.
In the past, we only needed to cure people with tear gas symptoms, now we need to handle people with serious injuries after gunshots. Our services represents a concept, that if you want, you can always offer assistance to people.
Ah Sau, aka Mob Sister, who claims to be a gadget express person, is one of the volunteers who fixes all sorts of gadget problems that protesters face. “Most of the protesters who came to me have had their phones either broken or dropped in water. They always say thank you to me after we have fixed their phones. I say to them there’s no need to thank me.”
“Why do we call each other “hands and feet” instead of sisters and brothers?” she asks. “It’s because your family might not always be good to you, but you will always take care of our hands and feet, so we are like that kind of relationship. You won’t say thank you to your hands.”
[UPDATE: November 30 - 3.30pm]
A peaceful crowd of around 800 enjoys the day out listening to young and old share their thoughts and feelings about the issues in Hong Kong.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 3.20pm]
Boyz Reborn leads the crowd in Glory To Hong Kong, the song that has become the protest anthem.
Meanwhile, Raymond, 52, has been marching and protesting since June 9, even if the gatherings have no letter of no objection. “It’s people’s rights to protest and assemble. I don’t understand why we need to apply for the rights to assemble from an unjust force,” he says.
He says he went from protesting against the extradition bill to protesting against the injustice and excessive force by the police force.
“I am a peaceful protester and my wife is a volunteer lawyer at Spark Alliance.”
The group is a major non-profit organisation that provides legal services and supplies to protesters. Recently, HSBC banned its account.
“I often drive her to different police stations to find people who have been arrested,” says Raymond. He adds that often it is a struggle to find the arrestees.
“The one time the police only provided us with one room that was packed with 30 – 40 arrested protesters. Many of them had serious injuries when I saw them.
“I’m outraged as they are just teenagers, most of them are under 18, why is there such a deep-seated hatred?”
He wasn’t very optimistic after the elections. “Without the scarifies of the frontline protesters, there’s no way we can make it. It’s not the success of the pan-democrats but the success of all Hongkongers.” He added that councillors should be humble and work together otherwise people might not continue supporting them.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 2.30pm]
Lucas, 16, did an interview with Young Post on August 5, the largest citywide strike in the city about his role as part of the supplies team. After three months, he is here today to exchange thoughts with silver-haired group. He is now in a frontline supplies team and also a first aid which supports the protesters.
“I have become less optimistic and started getting used to violence happened the society. Despite the landslide victory of the pan-Democrats, I believe it’s just a small step and reflects the thoughts of the general public only.”
[UPDATE: November 30 - 2.18pm]
Former chemistry lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Dr Kenneth Kwong Si-san spoke on stage about the chemical compounds that could be released to the atmosphere during the deployment of tear gas. He said he had the responsibility to inform every Hongkonger - including protesters and policemen - of the potentially harmful effects of tear gas.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 1.50pm]
A black bloc protestser joins the rally, waving a "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times" flag.
[UPDATE: November 30 - 1.50pm]
Just before 2pm, about 300 citizens, with the majority being senior citizens, have gathered at Chater Garden to show support for the ongoing anti-government movement. Before the start of the rally, organisers are showing a video about the effects of tear gas on citizens.