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

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.

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大約1時,有大批愛國人士於IFC中庭,手持中國國旗並高唱國歌及呼叫口號。其後陸續有市民到場聚集高唱《願榮光歸香港》作出反擊,未幾愛國人士被市民歌聲擊退,拆下大型國旗離開現場。 #反送中 #逃犯條例 #逆權運動 #願榮光歸香港

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They also repeatedly shouted "China, add oil!"

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【親中人士發起 IFC 唱中國國歌 香港市民《願榮光歸香港》抗衡】 有親中人士下午一時於 IFC 中庭發起快閃行動,手持國旗高唱中國國歌,並不停高呼「中國加油」。 在場有另一批市民高唱《願榮光歸香港》及喊口號抗衡,雙方互有對罵。

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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.

Top image via @TrueFactsStated