Date
17 August 2017
The banner on Lion Rock is meant to revive the spirit of Hong Kong to make life better, not just in terms of money but also in the quest for democracy, says the Spidie climbers group. Photo credit: Schindler Leung's Facebook page
The banner on Lion Rock is meant to revive the spirit of Hong Kong to make life better, not just in terms of money but also in the quest for democracy, says the Spidie climbers group. Photo credit: Schindler Leung's Facebook page

Lion Rock banner removed, but message stays on

So now it’s Occupy Lion Rock. 

A giant yellow banner has been hung on the landmark cliff face. Although it was removed swiftly by the government on Friday, the message will stay in Hong Kong people’s hearts.

The message? “I want genuine universal suffrage.”

The people behind this — call it a political statement, installation art or what you will — are the “Hong Kong Spidie”, a group of rock climbers.

They said that they want to revive the Lion Rock spirit, which is about Hong Kong people’s fighting spirit to make life better, not just in terms of economic growth but also in the quest for democracy and universal suffrage.

The 6mx28m banner, which was visible from the entire Kowloon East area including Tseung Kwan O and Wong Tai Sin, was hung up by around seven to eight climbers at around 10:30am on Thursday.

A convenor of the Hong Kong Spidie said the operation took a full week’s preparation by 14 participants and the installation spanned three hours.

The person, who gave his name as Andreas, said the climbers did not consider the legal consequences of their action but are willing to bear the liability that might come, insisting that the banner does not cause anyone any harm.

He believed the action could serve as a confidence booster for the Occupy Central campaign.

The Hong Kong Spidie released a video of the banner installation process, with the faces of the climbers blurred.

“The people fighting for real universal suffrage all over Hong Kong have shown great perseverance. This kind of fighting against injustice, strength in the face of troubles, is the true Lion Rock spirit, which should be inherited by our decedents,” a member of the group said in a YouTube clip.

Most Hong Kong citizens associate the “Lion Rock spirit” with striving for better life, which was embodied in a popular 1970s RTHK drama “Under the Lion Rock” and its theme song.

According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, it is illegal to display any signs within country park areas. Offenders could face a fine of HK$2,000 and three months’ imprisonment.

Professor Siu Kwok-kin, a director of the Centre for Hong Kong History, said Lion Rock has long been a witness to Hong Kong history. During the 1950s to 1960s, Republic of China flags could be seen around Lion Rock on October 10 which is Taiwan’s national day.

Meanwhile, authorities on Friday removed the pro-democracy banner on the iconic hill.

The operation involved a Government Flying Services helicopter airlifting a team of firemen and Civil Aid Services mountain rescue team to the area, RTHK reported.

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Half a century ago, Republic of China flags could normally be seen around Lion Rock on Oct. 10 which is Taiwan’s national day. Photo: Taiwan’s National Repository of Cultural Heritage


Hong Kong authorities on Friday flew down a team comprising firemen and mountain rescue personnel to remove the giant yellow pro-democracy banner on Lion Rock. Photo: RTHK


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