Employees in Hong Kong’s financial district staged a “flash mob” protest after work Thursday evening, the latest salvo in a series of demonstrations involving a wide swath of the city’s society, according to Bloomberg.
Hundreds of people gathered in the city’s Chater Garden near the offices of financial firms such as Standard Chartered Plc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to the publication.
The protest was largely silent, but in its final minutes protesters began chanting “bad cops, shameful” and “no rioters, only tyranny.”
While the protests began in response to a since-suspended bill that would allow the extradition of some residents to China, demonstrators have lately called for an independent investigation of police tactics and the dismissal of rioting charges against protesters.
Protesters are also calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and for her to formally withdraw the bill, which she has not yet done despite saying it was “dead,” as well as the police’s failure to stop a group of men believed to have ties to organized crime from assaulting protesters in a train station.
“While our companies may not encourage us to talk about politics, we should not be apathetic toward what happens around us,” Alfred, a bank employee who declined to give Bloomberg his last name, told the publication. “The whole issue has reached a point where we should all come out and do something.”
“We seldom talk about political issues in the office because many colleagues support the government and may fear that the company would put pressure on them,” said Molly Wong, another bank employee who has attended the protests since they began about two months ago.
Hundreds of bank employees at 34 institutions are also planning to participate in a citywide strike beginning next Monday, with nearly 100 public and private unions also endorsing the strike.