Hong Kong’s numerous “Lennon Walls,” displays of colorful Post-It notes and fliers bearing messages of support for pro-democracy protesters, have been the flash point for a number of impromptu violent clashes in recent months.
From a 50-year-old man getting arrested for allegedly knifing three people outside a Lennon Wall in Tseung Kwan O, to this incident in July, when a taxi driver was caught on camera repeatedly punching a Lennon Wall volunteer in the face.
But a call by pro-Beijing firebrand Junius Ho for a mass gathering on Saturday, one with the implicit purpose of tearing down those displays, would seem to all-but-guarantee violence.
In a video posted to his Facebook account last night, the lawmaker doubled down on what he’s dubbing a “clean-up” action, asking supporters to register for assignments.
Ho’s call to action was first made on Saturday in a Facebook post where he invited residents to “improve the environment, tear off the trash that affects the city, clean the walls, and cleanse the hearts of the people.”
In last night’s video, Ho said he hoped at least 30,000 people — broken up into groups of 100 — would take part in “cleaning up” areas damaged by “thugs” and “cockroaches,” a term used by police and pro-Beijing supporters to describe anti-government demonstrators.
He even proposed using high-pressure water guns to clean graffiti, before suggesting participants not come into conflict with other residents, a seeming impossibility.
Among the locations Ho has targeted are areas of Admiralty around the Legislative Council and government headquarters as well as a number of MTR station exits.
It was not immediately clear if Ho had applied for a police “letter of no objection” for the public gatherings. According to the Public Order Ordinance, any public meeting of more than 50 people requires police permission to not constitute an “unlawful assembly.”
Coconuts Hong Kong has reached out to police and will update once we have received their response.
Separately, an 18-year-old student has been arrested and charged with vandalizing Ho’s office in July. According to HK01, Chu Pui-hang was arrested on Monday and subsequently charged with one count of criminal damage.
Chu’s bail request was to be heard at Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court this morning, but the teen was absent as he is in hospital to treat what his lawyer said were chest pains. The case has been adjourned to Friday, the day he is expected to be discharged from hospital.
Chu is alleged to be one of the people responsible for damaging the glass wall of Junius Ho’s office inside a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan on July 22, the day after white-shirted thugs rumored to be connected to triads viciously attacked protesters in Yuen Long station.
Ho became a target amid public outrage over the attacks after video emerged online — hours after the attack — of him shaking hands with some of the attackers.
The day after the incident, Ho held a press conference were he issued a half-hearted condemnation of the violence, while simultaneously referring to the thugs who perpetrated the assault as “heroic.”