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Hong Kong hills shine with protest lights in festival-themed rally

  • Published at 01:52 am September 14th, 2019
Hong Kong
People hold up glowing sticks and mobile phones during the Mid-Autumn Festival in Sha Tin, Hong Kong on Friday, September 13, 2019 Reuters

'Today's autumn festival is a symbol of family and togetherness, so this is in the spirit of gathering the power of the Hong Kong people'

Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists used torches, lanterns and laser pens to light up some of the city's best-known hillsides on Friday night in an eye-catching protest alongside an annual festival.

Last evening marks the start of the mid-autumn festival, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, and is traditionally a time for thanksgiving, spending time with family and praying for good fortune.

But as Hong Kong convulses from more than three months of political unrest, activists used the night as a way to keep their movement buoyant with no signs of protests abating.

Throughout the evening, thousands of activists with torches on their heads hiked up hill trails leading to the top of Lion Rock, which overlooks the sprawling skyscrapers of the city's Kowloon district, one of the most densely populated places on earth.

They also gathered to form a long human chain on the Peak – a popular tourist spot which offers picture-postcard views of Hong Kong and its dramatic waterfront.

Both groups, whose lights were visible to each other across the harbour, chanted slogans and sang "Glory to Hong Kong," an anonymously penned protest anthem which has gone viral in recent days.

Other crowds gathered in parks across the city and along the harbor front, shining mobile phone lights, lasers and lanterns.

"Today's autumn festival is a symbol of family and togetherness, so this is in the spirit of gathering the power of the Hong Kong people," a 24-year-old protester, who gave his surname Yip, told AFP as he sweated his way to the top of Lion Rock in the unforgiving sticky evening heat.

"We are going to fight with Hong Kong and fight for freedom," added another protester, who gave his surname Shum.

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