Hong Kong Office Workers Begin Week of Lunchtime Protests
HONG KONG—Hundreds of office workers in Hong Kongs business district gathered on Dec. 2 for the first in a week of lunchtime protests backing the pro-democracy movement after its resounding victory in district polls last month in the Chinese-ruled city.
A day earlier police again fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters as they marched past the citys Kowloon waterfront, after first going to the U.S. consulate on Hong Kong island to show gratitude for Washingtons support.
There was no such confrontation at the two-hour rally in the central business district on Monday, as some people went back to their offices after their demonstration of solidarity. Others said they would be striking for the full five days.
The gathering in Chater Garden probably drew Hong Kongs best-dressed protesters, and organizers have called on them to come out every day this week.
Protests over the last six months have drawn a wide swathe of Hong Kong society—from students to pensioners. Even white-collar professionals, like those in Chater park, have sometimes blocked roads in recent weeks, leading to face-offs with police.
Mondays rally appeared aimed specifically at bringing in more workers from advertising agencies to help build publicity.
Fred, a 24-year-old advertising professional, said he and his colleagues had helped create promotional materials in their own time for the so-called “yellow economy,” the businesses seen as supporting the pro-democracy movement.
Many pro-democracy protesters have adopted the color yellow and yellow balloons have been seen at rallies.
“From the advertising perspective, we can help promote the brands that speak out for Hong Kong,” said Fred.
Another protester in the park said his advertising agency had closed for the week in solidarity, and hoped other agencies would do likewise.
“We are trying to come out and be the first industry to come out and stop working for five days,” said 28-year-old Ryan.
“We are just stopping work for companies. But the advertising talent will keep advertising for the movement, designing posters and leaflets.”