On the evening of September 10, a group of citizens peacefully voiced support for the detained protesters and activists outside Lai Chi Kok reception center
They carried heart-shaped cardboard cutouts and signs that read “Freedom Will Triumph Over Fear”, “Hong Kong Solidarity” and “Support Tam Tak-chi”.
Although the rally went on orderly, HK police started to stop and intercept passing-by citizens on nearby streets as early as 7pm, and issued fine tickets to reporters and onlookers, a “scare-tactic” the officers have been maliciously practicing ever since the gathering ban was imposed.
At around 7:30pm, two elderly ladies were caught in a police cordon on Castle Peak Road opposite to W688 mall with a big group of onlookers. They were ticketed for violating the gathering ban, citing they all share “the same purpose as others” as the reason.
In their old age, they were utterly stunned. In frustration, they made every attempt possible to explain to police officers and onlooking plain-clothed officers that there were just two of them walking together. They further explained that they are faithful Buddhists practicing austerities and chanting sutras. It would be going against their religious belief to accept the fine tickets, as by doing so, they would be discrediting their practices. They sought officers’ understanding for their decision to reject the fine tickets.
After a long and tiring 2-hour negotiation, police officers were not moved by these two harmless elderlies and even told them to “take your (their) questions to the judge”. The police arrested the two senior citizens at around 10pm and took them to the police station.
With much assistance provided by residents in the neighborhood and district councillors, the two ladies were released after midnight. They were disappointed and exhausted when walking out of the police station, holding fine tickets for breaching the gathering ban.
Another defiant elderly, Grandpa Chan of the group Protect the Children, was also sighted on the scene. While being intercepted, he challenged police officers for arbitrary enforcement, quoting the police’s recent attack on a pregnant woman and a 12-year girl as examples.
In response, some officers hurled back insults at Chan, calling him “a dead old man.”
Hongkongers in Solidarity with Detained Protesters and Activists.