Troll protesters paste lawmaker’s face all over after he launches ‘Clean Hong Kong’ campaign
Hongkongers getting creative all the time.
Controversial Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho called for a “Clean Hong Kong” campaign on Saturday, Sep. 21, asking his supporters to tear down the “Lennon Walls” found all over Hong Kong.
With the English slogan “Man Up! Sign Up! Clean Up!”, the campaign called on Hongkongers to clean up “warped logic”, as well as “rubbish”.
The campaign was meant to celebrate the “70th anniversary of our motherland”, said Ho.
Told participants to avoid conflict
However, he later backtracked, saying on late Friday, Sep. 20, that he was no longer targeting “Lennon Walls”, and that participants should focus on trash on the streets.
He also told participants to avoid conflict.
According to Hong Kong Free Press, Ho showed up at Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Sha Kei Wan and South Bay on the day itself.
“Cleaning up” Hong Kong
Answering Ho’s call to “clean up” Hong Kong, several people were spotted tearing down posters supporting the ongoing protests, as well as the colourful sticky notes that made up the “Lennon Walls”.
In response to "HK Clean-Up Day" call by pro-establishment legislator Junius Ho, #HongKong residents in different neighborhoods disposed off trash and got rid of posters in nearby stations and at various transport junction. #香港 pic.twitter.com/xNShwh2mmf
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) September 21, 2019
Pro-BJ lawmaker Junius Ho’s clean Hong Kong campaign kicks off this morning to tear down Lennon Walls across town. This pic circulating on LIHKG shows the aftermath of one location. #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/oiwDiupC09
— Vivienne Chow (@VivienneChow) September 21, 2019
Participants were well-equipped with detergents and trash bags.
Some of them even posed for a picture after they carried out their task successfully.
Police called to the scene
Unfortunately, the day-long activity was not without a few heated moments.
Participants of the campaign and protesters got into an argument at Yuen Long, reported Stand News.
Police were called to the scene, who promptly formed a protective cordon around the participants while they continued taking down the “Lennon Wall”.
No worries, we will protect you. pic.twitter.com/huLVJBb90t
— Lam Yik Fei (@LamYikFei) September 21, 2019
Participants were later escorted by the police away from the scene.
In response to the campaign, protesters took to spamming images of Ho’s face instead.
How to tackle Junius Ho’s Cleaning #Hongkong assemble? By pasting his face as wallpaper all over on Long Ping West Rail Footbridge… via Internet #antiELAB #ExtraditionLaw #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/11xWpCsaBK
— Galileo Cheng (@galileocheng) September 20, 2019
The move means anyone cleaning up protest signs and posters will have to clear the images of Ho’s face as well.
Some protesters also put up posters with cheeky messages.
Posters put on Mong Kok footbridge in preparation for the "clean up" campaign. The one showing Junius Ho says "What are you looking at? Hurry up cleaning. If it's not clean enough, no banquet." Another one "thanks aunties for cleaning up outdated posters". pic.twitter.com/LMFk0j476T
— Xinqi Su (@XinqiSu) September 21, 2019
Lennon wall poster to a whole new level:
“To 9.21 Junius Ho Cleaning Team: Thanks a lot of your cleaning, take your time, we will post a new batch of posters afterwards, hahaha”#LennonWall #HongKongers pic.twitter.com/eLv9lzJNEp
— おふとんくん (@briancmc11) September 20, 2019
But the tactic seemed to have failed, as participants of the campaign remained unfazed, treating the images like the rest of the “rubbish” they were clearing up.
Meanwhile, protesters complained about the “trash” left behind after participants supposedly “cleaned up” the place.
By this morning some parts of the #LennonWall in Tsing Yi have been destroyed. Junius Ho said it’s a “Clean HK” day, but this bridge is full of trash after somebody has “cleaned” it…
(Pic: Telegram)#antiELAB #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/pJHTq3yzna
— Cherie Chan 陳卓妍 (@cheriechancy) September 21, 2019
According to South China Morning Post, protesters had not turned up in large numbers to confront the participants clearing the “Lennon Walls”, instead showing up afterwards to replenish the sites with fresh posters.
Not the first time
This is not the first time pro-establishment supporters have torn down items that the protesters put up.
— HongKong Pig (@Ry94563837) September 12, 2019
The flowers were left as tributes to suspected victims of the police crackdown within the station on Aug. 31.
At the Prince Edward Station memorial for the *rumored* murder of a protester by the police. I saw a middle-aged man sob in front of the flowers while a young woman he didn’t know comforted him. Many are still placing flowers. Police tore down this memorial yesterday. pic.twitter.com/xVi43IcGCn
— Laurel Chor (@laurelchor) September 7, 2019
Every single MTR entrance to Prince Edward station has been covered with flowers and incense. Although no deaths have been confirmed yet for 8.31, it certainly doesn't feel that way for these Hong Kongers. pic.twitter.com/XFVUIZpd3O
— Michael Zhang 張雨軒 (@YuxuanMichael) September 6, 2019
Who is Junius Ho?
Ho is a pro-Beijing lawmaker who is a vocal critic of the protests.
He is widely seen by protesters to be connected to the Yuen Long attack on July 22, when a group of white-clad mobsters attacked both protesters and commuters alike in a train station.
He was seen shaking hands with the men allegedly involved in the incident later at the area in the same evening.
He recently made the news when Hong Kong’s Jockey Club cancelled all races on Wednesday, Sep. 18, after protesters said they would target the Happy Valley racecourse where his horse was due to run, Reuters reported.
Protests so far
Hong Kong has entered its 16th straight weekend of protests, which show no signs of stopping.
It is common to see peaceful rallies escalate to violent clashes between the protesters and police.
Protests on Saturday, Aug. 21, saw riot police firing tear gas after front-line protesters threw two petrol bombs towards an approaching line of police.
While protests have started initially to oppose a proposed extradition bill that would allow case-by-case extradition of criminals to mainland China, it later morphed into a broader call for democratic rights, supposedly guaranteed under the Basic Law, to be safeguarded.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since announced the formal withdrawal of the bill, but protesters say the concession was “too little, too late”.