Tai Po residents take disruptions in their stride

Local | 13 Nov 2019 1:50 pm

What do you do if you live in Tai Po and your two main transport links to Kowloon – the Tolo Highway, and the MTR’s East Rail – are both down?
Some residents went back to basics, turning to pedal power to stay mobile, RTHK reports.
Miranda, a 24-year-old event manager, rented a bicycle in the morning. But she is not trying to get to work, she wants to cycle to Chinese University – where students have been standing of against police since Monday – to deliver medical supplies to the students who have been hurt by rubber bullets and tear gas.
“I just want to leave Tai Po and there’s no public transport. We saw what happened at Chinese University so we want to help. So I’m renting a bike to go to Fo Tan to hopefully buy some saline solution and medical supplies to help the students,” she said.
The owner of one bike shop said Miranda wasn’t alone – he said around a dozen people have been renting bicycles each day since Monday, when protesters started jamming roads and railways all across the territory.
“I cut the rent to 50 dollars... 10 to 20 dollars cheaper than usual to show my support for them,” he said.
Banker and Tai Po resident Joyce Lee, 34, has given up on trying to get to her office in Admiralty. Instead, she has been working from home.
She says the widespread disruption is the government’s fault, saying the Carrie Lam administration is ‘incapable’, and has failed to resolve the problems at the root of the unrest – meaning everyone has to suffer.
“Personally, I don’t feel trapped. I accept the inconvenience caused to me, with no complaints to protestors. But I know that many people do need to work for a living, I feel very sorry for them,” she said.
A number of schools in Tai Po have suspended classes citing traffic problems and safety reasons, while others have told parents to decide themselves whether to send their kids to schools.
Lam, who’s a teacher herself, and a mother of two, said she is worried that secondary school students may join the protests if they don’t have to go to school.
“For kindergarten and primary school students, safety should be the priority. But if classes are suspended at secondary school, I'm afraid that the students will go out to protest and more of them would be arrested,” she said.
While things were relatively calm in Tai Po today after long, drawn out battles between protesters and riot police the day before, some protesters are still out and about.
Many are still on the Tai Po Tai Wo road, where the burnt-out shell of a truck remains.
Anti-government demonstrators were seen also throwing random objects like bricks and bicycles onto streets by the Tai Po police station.
And supporters of the protesters are guarding a bridge situated across the road, stopping onlookers from taking photos.-Photos; RTHK

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