Iron reminders of protest chaos as mall reopens

Top News | Erin Chan 17 Jan 2020

Iron fences have replaced glass barriers in the Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong, which reopened two months after being vandalized.

In an infamous incident, Festival Walk's Christmas tree was torched alongside several shops in November, prompting the mall's closure for repairs.

The mall reopened its main entrance and the passage linking it to the MTR Kowloon Tong station at 7am yesterday, with a student saying the white fences made the mall look like a zoo.

A number of stores reopened at 11am, including China-linked restaurants and caterers such as Yoshinoya and Starbucks, which had been vandalized in protests.

Visitor walkways have been reduced as some glass barriers have been replaced with metal fences or cordoned off by tape.

Several escalators remained covered, while the ice-skating rink, as well as the passage linking the mall to City University, remained closed.

A security guard said the fences are temporary and will be replaced with glass barriers later.

A shopper surnamed Au, who walks on crutches, said the suspension of multiple escalators caused great inconvenience and hoped the mall will not be vandalized again.

"I will come less often, unless I am accompanied by family members," Au said.

A CityU student slammed the "unclear instructions" given by the mall on what entrances have reopened.

"It is extremely inconvenient as the passage [linking the mall to the university] still cannot be used," he said.

Police made arrests in the mall during a November protest.

Protesters vandalized the mall for three consecutive days, although its management said it had nothing to do with police entering the complex.

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