A group of pro-government activists organised the first press conference of its kind to condemn violent acts by protesters and said that many Hongkongers just want their city to return to peace.
The event, held on Saturday, was styled on the citizens’ press conferences that have been held by anti-government protesters.
Two speakers, Jacky Ko Chung-kit and Man Shek Fong-yau were outspoken supporters of the government and police. A third speaker, who only gave his surname as Wan, said he was attacked in an act of vigilantism.
“Normal people must be furious about incidents such as these … Anyone with a conscience would never allow incidents like this to happen,” Man said.
The anti-government protests in Hong Kong were sparked in June over a now-withdrawn extradition bill. The movement, which is now in its sixth month, as snowballed into increasingly violent clashes between police and protesters.
Man was a police officer and is now part of a pro-China community group. He talked about harassment suffered by his family because of his pro-police and pro-government views.
On the morning of October 15, two young men wearing masks went to the school of one of Man’s daughters, who is a form four student. They waited for her to appear and then poured a box of leftover food, soup and cigarette butts over her. They told her it was because of her father and left, Man said.
“This was an assault and act of violence. She was a child who did not participate in the protests. I strongly condemn this attack and it was an act of cowardice by the rioters,” he said.
Wan, a resident invited to speak at the conference, said he was the victim of vigilantism by protesters on September 14, when a pro-China flash mob clashed with protesters at Amoy Plaza in Kowloon Bay. He saw a protester wearing a mask and went to remove it. Wan was then surrounded by other protesters and beaten, he said.
“I saw a man wearing a mask, who was really arrogant. He was pointing and yelling at us. I couldn’t bear it any more and went over to take off his mask,” Wan said.
Wan admitted that he made the first move. The anti-mask law had not been introduced yet in September.
Ko owns a music school and became a “protector of the Chinese flag”, a campaign started by mainland company Sina after Chinese flags were thrown into the sea after being burned by protesters.
Hong Kong has been regarded as a diverse, democratic and free society where everyone could express their opinions without fear of retribution but that is no longer the case, Ko said.