'Lennon Wall Violence Shows A Deepening Rift'

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2019-07-11 HKT 17:00

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  • There have been stand-offs and fisticuffs over putting up of Lennon Walls by protesters in some places of Hong Kong. Photo: RTHK

    There have been stand-offs and fisticuffs over putting up of Lennon Walls by protesters in some places of Hong Kong. Photo: RTHK

  • Pan-democratic lawmakers say the 'Lennon Wall' scuffles show the very sharp polarisation of this city. Photo: RTHK

    Pan-democratic lawmakers say the 'Lennon Wall' scuffles show the very sharp polarisation of this city. Photo: RTHK

Pro-democracy lawmakers on Thursday called for swift action over "Lennon Wall" assault cases, warning the government that these events show a sharp polarisation that is happening in the society.

Lennon Walls put up by anti-extradition bill protesters have sprung across Hong Kong where people post their thoughts on the ongoing campaign against government's now-suspended bill.

But footage have also been circulating on social media of people ripping off the colourful stick-it notes. Some activists who were guarding these Lennon Walls, also became victims of abuses and even assaults in some widely reported cases.

A 46-year-old man was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly attacked two people defending one "Lennon Wall" set up in Kowloon Bay.

Scuffles also broke out on Wednesday evening outside Yau Tong MTR Station when several government backers attempted to remove notes that had been posted there.

Two people, aged 56 and 57, were arrested on suspicion of common assault. The 57-year-old was released unconditionally after the alleged victim, a 17-year-old man, said he wouldn’t pursue the matter further.

Pan-democratic lawmakers strongly condemn the attacks, adding that people are expressing their views peacefully when they put up notes on the walls.

The camp's convenor, Claudia Mo, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam shouldn't tolerate these actions, and she should respond to the demands of anti-extradition protesters immediately.

“It’s one of the many, many signs exhibiting the very sharp polarisation of this city. It’s escalating. The signs are becoming more blatant, more sharp and more transparent for all to see,” Mo said.

“We don’t know if those people, the thugs who attacked our young, are organised. They appear so, we hope they’re not, but that’s sheer conjecture on our part," she said.

"But then, please, can Carrie Lam, as the ultimate culprit, come out and address the problem as soon as possible,” she added.

Mo also criticised the police action during such incidents.

“The police’s way of handling what’s happened is less than desirable. They could be very good at firing plastic bullets, we don’t see how or why they couldn’t have adopted a more firm stance [during the scuffles],” she said.

Neo-Democrats lawmaker Gary Fan appeared emotional as he urged young protesters to protect themselves.

He said these youngsters are hesitant to call the police for help, because officers appeared to be biased against them and had apparently tolerated the actions of pro-police or pro-government protesters.

Pro-establishment lawmaker Junius Ho, meanwhile, said one cannot go “over the top” when expressing views, adding “it’s “unwise for people to go to other districts to engage in conflicts with local residents”.

“Politics is not closely related to people’s everyday life,” the lawmaker said.

He also questioned whether “young people are always right and old people are always wrong”.

Meanwhile Health Secretary, Sophia Chan, said if activities linked to “Lennon Walls” are found to cause local hygiene problems, authorities will follow up.

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Last updated: 2018-07-11 HKT 18:51