20 February 2019
Protesters write messages on the Lennon Wall in support of the "chalk girl" in Admiralty on Sunday. Photo: Facebook
Protesters write messages on the Lennon Wall in support of the "chalk girl" in Admiralty on Sunday. Photo: Facebook

Groups slam Andy Tsang over handling of ‘chalk girl’

Several groups have thrown their support behind a 14-year-old girl who had been detained and later sent to a children’s home after drawing on the wall of a former Occupy protest site in Admiralty.

Gathering at the site of the Lennon Wall on Sunday, representatives of the groups read out a joint statement expressing their support for the “chalk girl”, who was arrested by police on Dec. 23 for making a chalk drawing of a flower on the wall once filled with colorful Post-it notes in support of the pro-democracy protests, news website reported.

The demonstration was also attended by parents, who brought along their children, to express solidarity with the girl.

In their joint statement, the groups said the girl was unreasonably deprived of her freedom for eight days, adding that police used the girl to spread fear among young people and discourage them from joining political activities.

“Parents used to worry that children would only indulge in video games, dating and having fun. Now why are they being punished for caring for society?” said Wong Kit-ying, a spokesperson for Umbrella Parents, one of the participating groups.

Legislator Leung Kwok-hung from the League of Social Democrats and several other supporters staged a rally outside the police headquarters in Wan Chai, demanding that Commissioner Andy Tsang offer an official statement on the incident.

They also assailed the police for trying to destroy the creativity of young people.

Police officers stopped members of the group who tried to stick drawings of flowers on the barricades.

The 14-year-old girl said in an open letter on Sunday that she was deeply touched by the expression of support from the public over the past few days, adding that she no longer felt alone.

Referring herself as the “the chalk girl”, she said she would refuse any press interviews before she returns to the Juvenile Court on Jan. 19 in connection with the “vandalism” case.

Insisting that she is only an ordinary secondary three student, the girl urged members of the public and the media to give her and her family more private space.

According to Scholarism, 55,000 people have signed the statement of support for the girl as of 8 p.m. Sunday night.

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