Fixture of Occupy protests in 2014, the ‘Lennon Wall’ is back

 

Those in search of parallels between the 2014 Occupy Central protests and those taking place today around LegCo, need look no further than the side of a government building in Admiralty — the “Lennon Wall” is back.

Launched at the height of the 2014 protests, the wall along a stairwell of the central government building, quickly became a focal point for Hongkongers who were looking to leave messages of hope and solidarity.

The Lennon Wall as it was during the 2014 Occupy Central protests. Coconuts file photo
The Lennon Wall as it was during the 2014 Occupy Central protests. Coconuts file photo

History is repeating itself this afternoon, with countless residents, mostly the young, approaching the wall and leaving their own handwritten notes encouraging each other in the push against legislation that would open the door for Hongkongers to be tried in mainland Chinese courts.

The Lennon Wall today. Young protesters take turns adding messages to the wall that became a rallying point during the 2014 Occupy Central protests. Photo by Vicky Wong
The Lennon Wall today. Young protesters take turns adding messages to the wall that became a rallying point during the 2014 Occupy Central protests. Photo by Vicky Wong

“I wanted to give some words of encouragement to Hongkongers here. I know it’s been really tough for everyone and everyone is feeling quite tired. So I hope they’ll come here, read my message and feel empowered and keep going, and know that there are a lot of people supporting them,” a 19-year-old student who declined to give her name told us after posting her own message.

“I didn’t take part in the Umbrella Movement because I was quite young at the time. But now that I’m a lot older, I feel like it’s my responsibility to show up”

A pair of notes are seen stuck to the side of the Lennon Wall on June 12. The one on the right reads 'HK Add Oil!' a traditional rallying cry of encouragement among Hongkongers. Photo by Vicky Wong
A pair of notes are seen stuck to the side of the Lennon Wall on June 12. The one on the right reads “HK Add Oil!” a traditional rallying cry of encouragement among Hongkongers. Photo by Vicky Wong

While frowned on by authorities in 2014 — one young teen was reportedly arrested at the time — the Lennon Wall quickly blossomed into a colorful centerpiece of the Occupy protest.

While long painted over, the wall was part of a legacy of art produced amid that turmoil that the Coconuts Hong Kong team covered extensively at the time. You can read our 2014 story on the phenomenon here.

Reporting by Vicky Wong.

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