Pictures and videos are circulating social media platforms, showing young Hong Kongers picking up all the trash and separating recyclables on Thursday morning, a day after what is described as the “worst political unrest since Hong Kong was handed to China in 1997,” according to AFP News Agency.
2am in the morning, young Hong Kong protesters volunteering to pick up the trash after all the chaos.
“We still have to look after the environment, and at every large-scale protest like this there’s always trash left over,” a 24-year-old woman named Belle, who did not attend the chaotic protest the day before, told Coconuts Hong Kong. “We don’t want to make lives difficult for cleaners, so we came out here to help them out and make their jobs easier.”
The protest was reportedly attended by 240,000, according to the police’s data, but organizers have said that there were more than 1 million people present at the time of the protest. People were fighting for their rights to stop the Hong Kong government from passing an extradition law that would grant people who committed crimes to be sent to China to face trial.
It began peacefully, but as the day progressed, things turned violent as police started using batons and pepper sprays to stop demonstrators from attempting to storm the city’s parliament.
Another protester, 30-year-old Wong, told Coconuts HK that he was also there when the protest was still at its peaceful state, but had to go home just before the police started to use force on the demonstrators. However, he returned to the Legislative Council building at around 5 a.m. on Thursday bringing supplies and protective gears along with him.
A small crowd is back outside the Hong Kong government offices…to clean up the rubbish. To sort out recyclables and unused materials, and clean up the rubbish. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/uPRcs0SLJ5
“I thought there would still be people here, so I brought some water and protective gear, but then I turned up and there was no one here! But I saw it was a mess so I thought I might as well help clean up,” he told Coconuts HK.