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Giant Festival Walk Christmas tree goes up in flames

2019-11-12 HKT 20:46
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  • Giant Festival Walk Christmas tree goes up in flames
Protesters smashed glass barriers and set a giant Christmas tree decoration on fire at the upmarket Festival Walk mall in Kowloon Tong on Tuesday evening, in an apparent reprisal against the mall’s failure to keep out riot police who stormed the shopping centre on Sunday.

Black-clad protesters forced their way in, some six hours after the mall closed its doors early at 2pm – a move meant to protect the safety of customers, tenants and staff.

They also set on fire the artificial Christmas Tree, that stretches up around four storeys, which the mall puts up every year as the centrepiece of the its Christmas decorations.

Virtually the entire tree went up in flames, but a staff member of the mall managed to put out the blaze.

Protesters had also smashed some doors at the mall and set off the automatic sprinkler system on Monday.

Their anger stems from a police raid of the mall on Sunday, which came after a group of plainclothes officers arrested a number of people who had alleged taken part in vandalising several restaurants there.

Riot police then showed up and forced everyone to leave, injuring several people in the process.

This sparked rampant rumours – which police have dismissed – that the action was to cover up a fatality, and prompted calls for the mall to release its CCTV footage.