‘We could be in danger’: Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters swarm Sydney’s CBD wearing masks to conceal their identities over fears of retribution by China
- Protesters covered their faces during demonstration at Martin Place on Friday
- Others wore bloodied bandages to symbolise woman injured in Hong Kong
- The demonstrators met to rally against police violence gripping Hong Kong
- A protester said being present at a rally could place their family in danger
Demonstrators took to Sydney’s streets in masks to protest against police violence in Hong Kong as unrest continues to grip the region.
Hundreds of protesters covered their faces as they marched on Martin Place on Friday night.
As one activist told The Daily Telegraph, a number of protesters wished to keep their identities hidden over fears for repercussions back in China.
‘If they share our faces on Wechat (China’s Facebook) we could be in danger,’ a protester said.
Demonstrators took to Sydney’s streets in masks to protest against police violence in Hong Kong as unrest continues to grip the region
Hundreds of protestors covered their faces as they marched on Martin Place on Friday night
The demonstration comes as pro-Hong Kong activists continue to clash against police in more than two months of protests.
The rallies were initially held to protest against legislation that proposed to extradite citizens from Hong Kong to China.
Though since the controversial proposal was dropped, activists have now rallied against police violence and China’s alleged violation of its one country, two system agreement.
The clash led one woman to become injured in her right eye during a rally at Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.
A beanbag round was allegedly fired by a police officer into the crowd before it hit the woman in the face.
Protesters in Australia were only too willing to throw their support behind the woman with a number of them wearing bloodied bandages over their eye.
Others waved posters calling for an end to the violence.
‘Unnecessary violence used by HK police,’ one poster read.
Another poster read: ‘They shot tear gas indoor’.
The clash led one woman to become injured in her right eye during a rally at Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday
Back home, protesters were only too willing to throw their support behind the woman with a number of them wearing bloodied bandages over their eye
Despite the show of support from the hundred strong crowd, some protesters noted they could be placing their families at risk just by being present at the rally.
‘Last week a girl didn’t cover her face at a protest at the University of Queensland,’ one protester said.
‘Then someone went to her family’s house in the mainland and told them to tell her not to be stupid and stop going to protests.’
The University of Queensland has been the stage for a number of protests held between pro-Chinese and pro-Hong Kong activists.
Drew Pavlou, 20, was at the centre of the protests held at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane towards the end of July.
More than a hundred demonstrators rallied at Martin Place on Friday night
A number of protesters brandished posters calling for an end to police violence in Hong Kong
Since the protests – one of which turned violent when the group was confronted by pro-China activists – Mr Pavlou has been the subject of an intimidation campaign.
Messages sent to Mr Pavlou seen by The Courier Mail include one which threatens to kill him and his family via a hired hitman.
The publication says another message was a video of a man being shot with the caption ‘you can be a person like him’.
‘Images of me were circulated online, it’s really scary to be honest. The threats against my family are the worst part, they are really hard to take,’ Mr Pavlou told the publication.
The UQ philosophy student became involved in organising the Brisbane protests to show solidarity with Hong Kong citizens who have been turning out in their thousands to protest Chinese influence.
The July 24 ‘peaceful sit-in’ he helped organise erupted into violence when pro-Chinese activists turned up at the event.
A number of protesters said their presence at the rally could place their family in danger