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Hong Kong protesters take to shopping malls in droves & sing unofficial anthem ‘Glory to Hong Kong’

They say the police can't forcibly disperse them now as they are simply singing together, and not protesting.

Kayla Wong | September 12, 08:01 pm

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Hong Kong protesters have come up with a new method to voice their dissent against the government.

Thousands of Hongkongers have gathered at shopping malls for the past few nights, singing in unison the unofficial anthem, Glory to Hong Kong.

They have also taken to chanting “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times!” in shopping malls.

By gathering in shopping malls and singing together, protesters, remaining defiant, say the police have no reason to disperse them as what they are doing does not constitute a protest per se.

No police were present at the gatherings, and the crowds dispersed peacefully, reported AP.

The scenes strike a contrast with the increasingly violent clashes between frontline protesters and riot police, as well as the violent displays of vandalism unto public property.

Group effort

Glory to Hong Kong, which has a 19th-century vibe to it, was composed anonymously, and has lyrics that were entirely crowdsourced from protesters on Hong Kong’s Reddit-like platform, LIHKG — much like the leaderless civil disobedience movement that has rocked the city for the past 14 weeks.

Reflecting the protesters’ will to not give up and continue their resistance even after the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill that sparked the protests was announced, some even said they were moved to tears as they listened to it.

In an orchestral and choir version of the song, protesters could be seen in the video singing and playing instruments while donning helmets, face masks and goggles — essential equipment for a frontline protester to fight against tear gas and pepper spray released by the police to disperse them.

While some call it an unofficial “national anthem”, others were opposed to the term as it carries potential connotations of separatism.

Nevertheless, protesters identify with the song as they felt it reflects their struggles for the past weeks trying to get the Hong Kong government to agree to their demands.

While the protest first started as opposition to a highly-unpopular bill that allows case-by-case extradition of criminals to mainland China, it later evolved into a broader call for greater police accountability and democratic rights such as electoral reforms.

You can listen to the song in English here.

Pro-Beijing camp responds by singing Chinese national anthem

In response to the protesters singing their unofficial protest song, pro-Beijing supporters gathered at the IFC (International Finance Corporation) Hong Kong building on Thursday, Sep. 12, and sang the Chinese national anthem — March of the Volunteers — while displaying the Chinese national flag.

They also repeatedly shouted “China, add oil!”

Shortly afterwards, anti-establishment supporters turned up and belted out Glory to Hong Kong, eventually forcing the pro-Beijing camp to leave the place, Apple Daily reported.

March of the Volunteers is Hong Kong’s official national anthem

March of the Volunteers is a song that calls for those who “refuse to be slaves” to rise up.

Its origins lie in the call for the Chinese people to arise and resist the Japanese invaders in the 1930s.

The song is also the national anthem of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

While protesters have sung the Christian song Sing Hallelujah to the Lord, and Do You Hear the People Sing, a song from musical Les Misérables, Glory to Hong Kong is the song that has achieved the most traction among protesters thus far.

Hong Kong football fans boo China national anthem during World Cup qualifier

Top image via @TrueFactsStated

About Kayla Wong

Kayla's dog runs her life.

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