Hong Kong protesters scaled the city’s Lion Rock peak and hoisted a large statue they called “Lady Liberty” early on Sunday to rally anti-government activists ahead of more planned demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.
The three-metre (9-feet) statue, wearing a gas mask, helmet and protective goggles, was carried up the 500-metre (1,500-feet) peak in the dead of night by several dozen protesters, some wearing head lamps, during an overnight thunderstorm.
It held a black banner that read “Revolution of our time, Liberate Hong Kong” and could be seen from the city below.
The statue represented an injured woman protester believed by activists to have been shot in the eye by a police projectile. One of the protesters told Reuters he hoped it would inspire Hong Kong people to keep fighting.
“We are telling people that you mustn’t give up. All problems can be resolved with Hong Kong people’s persistence and hard work to reach our aims,” he said.
Hong Kong has been battered by four months of often massive and violent protests against what is seen as Beijing’s tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city, and more protests are planned for Sunday.
Petrol bombs were thrown inside a Hong Kong metro rail station on Saturday but no one was injured, the government said.
The MTR, which usually carries some 5 million people daily, will shut early on Sunday and the Airport Express will not stop between central Hong Kong and the airport.
Metro stations have been torched and ticketing machines damaged because protesters believe MTR management, at the instruction of the government, has closed stations to hinder protesters’ movements. It was forced to shut down completely last week.