Pro-democracy protesters hauled a four-metre statue known as “Lady Liberty” to the top of a famous Hong Kong mountain early Sunday, announcing the peak would be its “final resting place”.
The statue depicts a female protester in a gas mask, protective goggles and helmet, an umbrella in one hand and a black flag in the other, proclaiming the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”.
It was a regular feature at larger, more peaceful rallies this summer, eliciting cheers when it was wheeled in by volunteers and transported around the city on the back of a truck.
But on Sunday organisers said Lady Liberty had made her final journey as they unveiled her at the top of Lion Rock, a 495-metre peak overlooking a forest of skyscrapers, intimately linked to the city’s democracy movement.
Alex, a 32-year-old protester who created the statue, said volunteers used the cover of night to carry the 80 kilogram (180 pound) artwork up the steep path to the summit.
HONG KONG: Police said that a remote-controlled homemade bomb, similar to those used in “terrorist attacks”, was set off for the first time during the protests in Hong Kong on Sunday (Oct 13).
The device was remotely controlled by a mobile phone and detonated as a police car drove past and officers were clearing road blocks in Mong Kok, Kowloon, police said at a press conference.
Chinese President Xi Jinping raised the specter of a violent crackdown on protesters against the Communist government, as Beijing rebuffs international condemnation for human rights abuses.
“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” Xi said Sunday, per state-run media.
That warning was issued from Nepal, where thousands of Tibetan Buddhists have taken refuge from Chinese Communist rule. But the blanket threat is likely a message to the protesters in Hong Kong and Western-allied leaders of Taiwan, whom Chinese officials regard as “separatists” and advocates of “secessionism” from the mainland government.
“And any external forces backing such attempts at dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming,” Xi also said.
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests for months, as dissidents were outraged by the Beijing-backed local government’s attempt to pass an extradition bill that would allow mainland Chinese authorities to take custody of Hong Kong residents based on flimsy evidence. The proposed bill tapped into deeper suspicions that China is trying to undermine the autonomy that was promised to Hong Kong when the United Kingdom relinquished sovereignty over the former colony in 1997.