Hong Kong Protest: Sticky Note Lennon Walls Explained


In recent weeks, Hong Kong’s streets, bridges, and tunnels have exploded with sticky notes. Locals call them “Lennon Walls.” Since the beginning of July, these Lennon Walls have organically sprung up at over a hundred spots as a form of protest against an unpopular bill. We went to check out a few of them. Among all the Lennon Walls in Hong Kong, this one in the north is the largest. The name pays homage to the John Lennon Wall in Prague. After Lennon’s death in 1980, people there covered a wall with lyrics and graffiti inspired by the Beatles. Similarly, the Hong Kong walls are hotspots for people to vent their grievances against the government. Their No. 1 demand? To withdraw a bill that would allow extraditions to a range of countries, including mainland China. But wait, isn’t Hong Kong part of China? Yes. But after Britain handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the city has been governed under a “one country, two systems” principle. This means Hong Kong retains its own government, legislature, and courts, and Hong Kongers enjoy rights and freedoms that you don’t get in mainland China. Many people fear potential extraditions to mainland China because they do not trust the courts there. But after weeks of protests, including one that organizers say drew two million people, many are also demanding a thorough investigation into the police’s use of force during these protests, including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. This is not the first time Lennon Walls have popped up in Hong Kong. The first one emerged five years ago, when tens of thousands occupied major highways for over two months to demand universal suffrage. The main difference between the Lennon Wall in Prague and the one in Hong Kong is that here, protesters have chosen to use less permanent sticky notes over spray paint. They say it’s because they don’t want to deface any public property. The risk of such a temporary form of protest is that anyone can tear them down, including people who disagree with the protesters. But one volunteer we talked to says even if she sees people tearing down notes, she’ll respect their right to do so. So what do young people here think about the walls? And in the true spirit of the Beatles, these walls have also become spots where people offer encouragement and support to each other, and express their love for the city. Our office is actually really close to this particular Lennon Wall. So every morning when I walk past these sticky notes, they bring a smile to my face, and they make me feel proud of being a Hong Konger. We have more videos about Hong Kong like this one about Hong Kong’s disappearing neon signs. Please check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe to @Goldthread2.

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Reader Comments

  1. Glory Jammula

    They not only encourage each other and motivate
    But also think abt cleaning up the stickers later on… but not using graffiti or other stuff
    Thts really gr8t

  2. Danny Kwan

    After all, your Channel can NOT escape the anti-China narrative, police brutality? Really? Tell me how the police are going to react if the Capitol Hill Building in the US were stormed? Tear gas and rubber bullets? Tell me how the Police in Paris dealt with "peaceful protesters"? With croissant and roses? Stop reporting politics when you can NOT even get the basic facts straight.

  3. Lydia Lee

    For any Chinese who are reading. You need to learn to play their rules in the situation. You should debate with them and post your own opinion. You should defeat them logically and with facts. Believe me it is not hard! Don't place yourself in a bad position. I am worried about Chinese who are trapped.

  4. michelle jsc

    the '' calm '' before the stom. but now the rioters have shown their real faces. whether they have masks on or not. selfish, brainwashed and violent people. hk police, please restore peace again. 我会支持您们!#香港永远是中国的一部分 #爱中国,爱香港

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