Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists used torches, lanterns and laser pens to light up two of the city’s best-known hillsides on Friday night in an eye-catching protest alongside an annual festival.
Friday evening marks the start of the mid-autumn festival, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, and is traditionally a time for thanksgiving, spending time with family and praying for good fortune.
But as Hong Kong convulses from more than three months of political unrest, activists used the night as a way to keep their movement lively with no signs of protests cooling.
Throughout the evening thousands of activists with torches on their heads hiked their way up hill trails leading to the top of Lion Rock which overlooks the sprawling skyscrapers of the city’s Kowloon district, one of the most densely populated places on earth.
They also gathered to form a long human chain on the Peak - a popular tourist spot which offers picture-postcard views of the finance hub and its dramatic waterfront.
Both groups, whose lights were visible to each other across the harbour, chanted slogans and sang Glory to Hong Kong, an anonymously penned protest anthem which has gone viral in recent days.
“Liberate Hong Kong; Revolution of our times!” chanted hundreds on the grass field at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, many holding yellow lanterns up to the full moon.
Other residents marked the festival in the usual way, visiting the nearby lantern displays.
Demonstrators also gathered in Quarry Bay, Sham Shui Po, Hung Hom, Tsing Yi, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, where some arrested protesters were being held.
The day’s protests kicked off with students forming human chains outside schools in the morning, followed by a lunchtime singing flash mob attended by hundreds of office workers in Chater Garden in Central. Lam met one of their demands on September 4, when she promised to withdraw the extradition bill that first triggered the protests in June.
She also vowed to start direct talks with people from all walks of life and support the Independent Police Complaints Council’s probe into the police’s handling of protests. But the concessions failed to satisfy many.
A source also confirmed on Friday the government had decided to cancel the annual National Day fireworks out of safety considerations, while in a bid to reach out to the community, Lam sent a letter to all members of the city’s 18 district councils, inviting them fr a dialogue next Wednesday.