Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 6 News List

‘Grandpa’ protesters speak softly, carry canes

‘PROTECT THE CHILDREN’:Senior citizens showing up during weekend protests try to mediate between police and demonstrators, and shield young people

AFP, HONG KONG

“If the Chinese Communist Party comes to Hong Kong, Hong Kong will become Guangzhou,” Wong said. “The authorities can lock you up whenever they want.”

Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by a controversial bill that would allow extraditions to China, raising concerns over unfair trials given the mainland’s record of rights abuses, but it soon morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reform and police accountability.

Roy Chan, who organizes the “Protect the Children” group, said he respects what the elderly citizens do, but is disappointed they feel they need to come out.

“They should have a good life at home during the last years of their lives,” he said. “But they are in a war and protecting the youth.”

Grandpa Wong’s presence at the Causeway Bay protest came to an end as riot police eventually cleared the usually bustling shopping district, but the next day he was right back at it — this time at a protest near the Hong Kong International Airport.

“Go home kiddos,” he hollered, brimming with renewed energy. “Let the elderly look after you.”

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