Students rebuild Lennon Wall in HKU after vandalism

Students posting posters on to the “Lennon Wall” at the University of Hong Kong campus on 29 September 2020. The campus’s “Lennon Wall” has recently been a focus of attention after it was vandalized. Photo by Harvey Kong.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Students’ Union initiated the rebuilding on Lennon Wall at 1 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday after the wall being destructed. A number of HKU students responded to the call and posted leaflets provided by the Students’ Union.
Posters about issues relating to the 12 youths and recent social movements were posted. Photo by Harvey Kong
Some students came in all black to stick posters about the social movements, as well as the issue relating to saving 12 youths. Ryan, a year-1-master student, wanted to express his assent to the political movements through rebuilding the Lennon Wall. He also wanted to show support on behalf of HKU through taking action.
On 29 September 2020, over 30 people with accents vandalised the Lennon Wall in the Upper University Street. They tore the posters on the wall and destroyed the flag of the HKU Students’ Union. Only verbal warnings were given to them by the security guards at that time. Immediately after the incident, the Union condemned such vandalism and called for the rebuild of Lennon Wall.
A Public Letter to the President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU was given by the Union concerning this incident. The Union presented three demands, including requesting condemn of the vandalisers from the President, disclose of CCTV footage and responsibilities taken by the head of the Security Department.
Representatives of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union speaking to the media demanding for actions from the authority. Photo by Harvey Kong.
“Lennon Wall is the notion of Freedom of Speech in HKU.” said Jeh Tsz Lam, President of the Union. She mentioned that Lennon Wall is a place for students in HKU to express their opinions, which indeed should be protected by the University.
In response to new security measures, including checking students cards and personal belongings, Jeh emphasised that these changes did not solve the problem at root. It is not a problem for HKU to be an open campus, but the protocol and guidelines for dealing emergencies of the security staff should be revised to protect the students.
A year-2-undergraduate student, Raymond, felt disappointed towards the reaction of the University as well as the security guards during that event. He has already lost confidence in the University in terms of protecting students’ safety or freedom. “There should be nothing wrong to stick any posters on the wall in the Upper University Street. But it seems that the University wanted to stop us just because of the content”, he said.

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