Busker known for singing protest anthem arrested while performing in Central

Oliver Ma, 22, was arrested while performing in Central on Friday. Screenshots via Oliver Ma
Oliver Ma, 22, was arrested while performing in Central on Friday. Screenshots via Oliver Ma

A street performer known for entertaining passersby with an English rendition of “Glory to Hong Kong,” the unofficial anthem of the 2019 protests, was arrested while busking in Central on Friday.

Oliver Ma, 22, said on social media that he was singing songs that had “nothing to do with politics” when police officers approached him and “decided to target, harass and arbitrarily arrest” him.

In videos posted by Ma, officers are seen telling Ma to stop performing and not to attract a crowd, presumably due to social distancing laws. A passerby talks back at them, insisting that they would “spread out.”


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A post shared by Oliver Ma 馬賦馳 (@oliverma21)

Then, Ma bends down to adjust his equipment and begins singing “Glory to Hong Kong” as three officer surround him. After multiple warnings, one of them unplugs his amplifier.

As police make calls and pack his gear, Ma makes a clicking camera action, gesturing for those watching to film the incident.

Ma said this was the first time he had performed in about eight months following his two arrests last July and August, also while he was busking.

The day of his third arrest Friday, he posted in the morning: “I am very ecstatic to announce that I am returning to the local street music scene again!”

He was earlier detained on charges including criminal intimidation, involving an argument with an elderly woman who accused him of singing too loudly, and possessing an offensive weapon. (His “weapon” in question was a pair of toy handcuffs he wore while performing as a “social commentary” to describe the city’s political environment.)

The charges were dropped, and he was found not guilty of breaching the noise control ordinance in court earlier this year.

“All of my busking essentials are seized yet again,” Ma wrote on social media Saturday. “So I wish to call upon everyone who believes in artistic freedom, not only to spread the word but also support my Patreon & Website so I can get replacements and perform again!”

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