About 300 people were bused in to Tai Po’s “Lennon Tunnel” in the early hours of this morning to tear down Post-It notes bearing messages of support for anti-government protesters and lay funeral wreaths for prominent pro-democrats.
According to HK01, about six coaches full of men and women — all of them wearing face masks — appeared in Tai Po at about 2am and began tearing down protective plastic coverings and large swathes of Post-Its, while also posting fliers for a pro-government rally at Tamar Park on Saturday.
It remains unclear who organized the group, which Apple Daily reported comprised people of all ages, the youngest of whom appeared to be a child of roughly 10.
The group also left behind funeral wreaths bearing black-and-white photos of pro-democracy lawmakers Claudia Mo and Lam Cheuk-ting, pro-democracy activist Tam Tak-chi, activist singer Denise Ho, and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, along with notes calling them traitors and accusing them of selling out the country.
The outlet reported that the group left the area at about 2:45am.
Police received a report at 2:20am and some 20 officers were dispatched to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the group had already boarded the buses and left. Police officially categorized the incident as a case of “discovery of suspicious persons.”
Police did arrest one woman at a taxi stand nearby for failing to produce identification.
Ming Pao reported that the woman was with a group of about 20 people spotted by police on the street near the Tai Po tunnel. The group allegedly spoke with a mainland accent and told police they were here on holiday, though it was unclear whether they took part in tearing down the Lennon Wall.
The Lennon Wall concept originated in 1980s Prague, and first arrived in Hong Kong during the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Now, with massive protests sparked by a deeply loathed extradition bill again rocking the city, the walls have again cropped up all over town.
Tai Po’s Lennon Tunnel has been a flashpoint in recent days, not just because of the sheer number of pro-democracy Post-Its on display, but also because the area has long been seen as a pro-establishment stronghold. Last week, it was the site of a fight between two men and a volunteer trying to protect the walls of notes from vandalism. That fight resulted in the volunteer being taken to hospital for surgery after fracturing his arm.
Meanwhile, at the Lennon Wall over in Sham Shui Po, an elderly topless man was spotted was spotted using a kitchen knife to scrape off notes posted on the walls of an underpass linking Cheung Sha Wan Road to Pei Ho Street. Police told on.cc that they haven’t received a report about the incident.
The outlet reports that video of the incident was posted online earlier this morning, but it’s not entirely clear when it was filmed.