More than 1,000 people marched Sunday to show support for law enforcement by police during the Mong Kok clashes on the night of Feb. 8, the Justice Alliance and the Alliance in Support of Our Police Force said.
But Leticia Lee See-yin, convener of both pro-establishment groups and organizer of the march, left the scene after she was loudly accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in total from two women.
Police said as many as 770 people took part in the march from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok at one point, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
Lee earlier said she felt heartbroken by the clashes in Mong Kok and urged the government to arrest all the “trouble-makers”.
She said members of society should come to understand that they should not resort to illegal means and violent acts to vent their frustrations with the government.
Simon Lam Siu-lun, honorary president of the Hong Kong Tourism Practitioners’ Union, who took part in the march, said while there is no data to suggest the Mong Kok clashes will have a negative impact on the tourism industry, he believes that similar accidents could deter tourists from visiting Hong Kong.
Several retired police officers took part in the march.
One 67-year-old, surnamed Tse, who served in the force for 37 years, said the police officers in Mong Kok were not sufficiently equipped and should have taken a tougher stance, such as firing shots at the protesters.
During the march, a “civil war” broke out among its pro-establishment participants, Apple Daily reported Monday.
A member of the pro-government group Voice of Loving Hong Kong, Pang Chun-ngor, was seen chasing Lee, the report said.
Pang said she had given Lee HK$200,000 (US$25,690) to support her activities and that Lee refused to acknowledge she had pocketed that sum.
When the demonstrators arrived in Mong Kok, another woman was among several people seen in a video posted on social media who accused Lee of taking their money.
The woman said she had lost HK$100,000 to a scam by Lee in November.
Police officers had to intervene when the woman got into a furious exchange with Lee’s supporters.
Lee left the scene shortly after.
She later issued a statement on Facebook denying the accusations.
Meanwhile, Third Side, a new moderate pro-democracy Hong Kong political party, said it had done a phone survey of 1,000 citizens between Feb. 11 and 13 about the Mong Kok clashes, Singtao Daily reported.
Over 80 percent of the respondents condemned or disagreed with the protesters’ behavior, despite understanding the reason for their actions.
Nearly half of the people surveyed said the police were being overly violent in handling the conflict.
The survey found that over half the respondents agreed that the protesters should shoulder the most responsibility, while 30 percent of the people thought the government is to blame.
Third Side chairman Tik Chi-yuen said the clashes were not a random incident but the result of persistent underperformance by the government and the legislature.
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