A protest aimed at raising awareness of police brutality in Hong Kong is scheduled to take place in Manchester city centre today.
The protest – which has been scheduled by Hong Kong natives living across Greater Manchester – is expected to begin today on Bank Holiday Monday in Piccadilly Gardens from 12pm to 4pm.
During the protest, it’s believed that the group will unfurl a 10-metre long piece of artwork and create a ‘Lennon Wall’ using the Piccadillly Gardens wall.
Lennon Walls have become a phenomenon in Hong Kong and can often be found buildings, walkways, sky bridges, underpasses and corner shop windows, with messages like “Hong Kongers love freedom,” “garbage government”, and “We demand real universal suffrage” written on them, and the Lennon Wall expected to be created today is said to be inspired by the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests in Hong Kong.
Demonstrators plan on covering the Piccadilly Gardens wall with handwritten Post-It notes in support of the protests.
Anti-government protests in Hong Kong erupted in 2019 following the proposal of an extradition bill which triggered the first protest in April.
The main focus of todays demonstration will be the Prince Edward Station incident – which took place exactly a year ago – where footage was released of Hong Kong police indiscriminately attacking passengers at the station during their arrest of suspected protesters.
A spokesperson for Manchester Hong Kong said: “Over the past year, we have witnessed our beloved city that we were born and raised in descend into unimaginable levels of chaos and division. A movement against the extradition bill has escalated into an explosion of pent-up frustration and deeply rooted dissatisfaction with the way that our city is governed.
“We are particularly alarmed by the police brutality seen since June 2019 [and] Hong Kong has seen excessive use of tear gas, shooting of rubber bullets and even live rounds at peaceful protesters.
“Reports and complaints of torture and abuse of those being arrested during detention abound. It is not only protesters who are in danger – journalists, politicians, and even first aid providers and firefighters have faced arbitrary harassment, assault, and arrest at peaceful rallies.
They continued: “Video footage of the arrest and humiliation of humanitarian aid providers clearly demonstrated breaches of the rights of access to medical treatment. However the Hong Kong government continue to turn a blind eye to the police brutality, the selective law enforcement of the police and their double standards have caused injustice that snowballed into an unresolvable, collective mass of anger in the present.
“As a group of Hong Kongers living far away from home, we advocate for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.”