Volunteer brigades clear roadsTop News | Staff Reporter 14 Nov 2019
People coming out in groups have been volunteering to clear roadblocks erected by protesters that have caused disruptions for three consecutive days.
One volunteer - a 70-year-old man - was admitted to hospital yesterday after being hit by a brick during a fight with protesters in Sheung Shui.
The volunteers also descended on Yuen Long on Castle Peak Road near Tai Tong light rail station.
Residents and mainland tourists gathered at the light rail station at around 11am, alongside around 50 riot police officers.
Many of them wore face masks, gloves and an orange armband reading "Hong Kong Good Citizen" in Chinese. They were led by a pro-police activist, ex-officer Man Shek Fong-yau.
A Yuen Long resident named Cheung said Hongkongers should come out to help clear the roads.
"In this situation, if you think you are a Hongkonger, a Yuen Long resident, you must come out to help. I think anyone with a conscience should know this [the blocking of roads] is not right," she said.
Another resident, Chan, said: "We can't stand it, we have reached our limit. We won't have [money to support ourselves] soon."
He added: "We have over 200,000 jobless now. Protesters make a mess every day, we can't go to work and there is no transport to take after work," he said.
A tourist from Sichuan said she had planned to shop in Hong Kong, but decided to help clear the roads instead.
She said cleaning tools were provided by a cleaning company and she did not receive money.
Traffic resumed around 1.10pm, hours after protesters scattered bricks along Castle Peak Road and removed fences along the light rail in Yuen Long at midnight.
The sight of drivers and bystanders helping clear roadblocks has become common over the past five months, but it has occasionally turned violent as some have hurled bricks back at protesters.
On Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed appreciation for people who voluntarily removed objects from blocked streets.
"When we say the city needs to curb violence, every sector of society can actually contribute their power and inject positive energy amid these chaotic times," she said.