More than 1,000 trail runners and nature lovers gathered on top of Lion Rock on Friday night to shine lights across the city in solidarity with the “Hong Kong Way”.
An estimated 210,000 peopled made a human chain across Hong Kong, following major MTR queues, in the latest anti-government protest, whilst the outdoor community emulated the scenes on top of Lion Rock.
“This is not a protest,” one of the Lion Rock gathering organisers told theSCMP. “A lot of people put effort into the Hong Kong Way. We thought a lot of trail runners and nature lovers wanted to support the event but not go to the Hong Kong Way itself.”
Hong Kong has been gripped by more than two months of anti-government protests, which began with opposition to the extradition deal that would have seen fugitives deported to other jurisdictions, including mainland China.
“Although the current situation in Hong Kong looks dark, we hope to bring light with the message of hope, peace and love on the symbolic Lion Rock,” the organiser said.
“Light shines in the dark and we want to ignite the spirit of Lion Rock in Hongkongers,” he said, adding the local spirit is one of hard work and unity.
He said the atmosphere was that of a nice gathering. The last few months have felt depressing, he said, but being among nature was more relaxing. It was akin to the start line of the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker or the Vibram HK100: “A lot of familiar faces, and everyone had the same aim.”
But not everyone was a trail runner. There were many people who hike every now and then, and simply love nature.
“Some people brought their kids, and some even came straight from work, in their shirts, which they sweated through as they hiked,” the organiser said.
The group came up with the idea on Tuesday evening and by Wednesday they were spreading the message among the nature community via social media and personal messages. They were keen to keep it relatively low key, so as not to distract from the Hong Kong Way.
The organisers were wary of creating too much of a party atmosphere and leaving behind rubbish and stickers. As far as they could tell, that was not the case. But a group of them were returning on Saturday morning to check the area and clean up if necessary.
“Hand in hand, we hope to light up the spirit of the Lion Rock in the hearts of each and every Hongkonger,” the organiser said.