Lennon Wall Guardian
- "Every Initiative, every contribution, every idea can have a massive impact on this movement."
Momo at We Are HKers
I am an interior and architectural designer. I first began participating in social movements
during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, though I did not play a big role in it at the time. In the
years after the failure of the Umbrella Revolution, I felt like I didn’t really know what to do. I
think a lot of people didn’t know how to continue after that moment––some may have even
stopped watching the news.
Five years later, in 2019, the anti-extradition movement began, which inspired so many
Hongkongers to come out again. I came out, too! I really wanted to do something for the
movement. We may not all be able to stand on the frontline, ‘fighting’ against the police, but I
think we can all play our roles and contribute in our own way.
This was the idea behind the Lennon Wall located in Happy Valley (located in Hong Kong
Island), which is where I live. Some friends and I had been thinking about initiating this Wall
for a while. Then, on one Sunday – it must’ve been after a protest – I saw some other people
sticking up the flyers they had been holding onto the wall. They had the same idea! So I
reached out to some of my friends who did not live in Happy Valley but wanted to help. We
decided to put up a Lennon Wall together.
That night, I printed out lots of different posters, wrote the words “Lennon Wall”, and
prepared some post-it notes with messages on them. We went as a group of three because
we felt it would be safer than doing it alone. That night, we finished putting up the posters
quickly – it took us about 10 to 20 minutes. At first, there were only 30 post-it notes, plus
maybe 10 or so posters. No one thought it would expand into such a large Lennon Wall.
A few days after the Wall was built, more and more people started contributing to it.
However, the Wall was torn down a week later. By the time I went back there, there weren’t
even any posters left. I talked to my friends about it, and we decided to rebuild the Wall
again that night.
Just as I was about to go home to get more materials, I saw a man starting to rebuild the
Wall. I went up to him and asked if he needed any help. I then noticed that he had a few
pieces of A4 paper with lots of post-it notes on them. And I thought they looked familiar! I
realised that these notes were the same ones that had been on the previous Wall before
they were torn down.
"I picked everything up and took it all home, so I could piece everything back together
again,” he explained. He was using glue rather than tape to put up the posters, which would
make the materials harder to remove.
My friends and I joined him, and as a team, we rebuilt the Lennon Wall. While we were
working on the Wall, some people brought us popsicles and drinks. You could really feel
everyone’s desire to contribute – it felt very special.
As we were talking with the man, he stepped back to smoke a cigarette. When he reached
into his bag, he noticed that there was still a poster left. It was a poster about the man in the
yellow rain jacket, who took his own life at Pacific Place (a mall in HK).
“It’s (the Wall) missing this poster. With it, the Wall’s finally complete,” he said as he put the
poster on the wall. “I can finally sleep soundly now.”
As we stood back and admired the wall together, we talked to the man a bit more. He told us
that he was working as a driver for someone from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),
which means that he has to listen to their propaganda everyday. He said it made him really
angry, and that he wanted to do something about it. After our conversation, we said our
goodbyes. I thought I would never see that man again.
Then, something amazing happened.