Messages supporting Hong Kong independence and the recently banned Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) have appeared on the “democracy walls” of the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Posters and large printouts were found at HKU on Wednesday, which read: “I support Hong Kong Independence. I support Hong Kong National Party” in Chinese and English. They were put up after an unprecedented decision by the Security Bureau to ban the party on Monday.

HKU democracy wall independence
Democracy wall at HKU. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Ming Pao reported that, at around 4:40pm on Wednesday, a man in a black suit tore up some of the printouts.

HKU denied sending anyone to remove the messages, and the Student Union said that the messages will stay up as they do not contravene internal rules.

On Thursday, the torn up posters were replaced with messages saying “I support the Hong Kong Communist Party… Topple the capitalist government.”

HKU democracy wall independence
Democracy wall at HKU. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Pro-independence messages were also found at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Thursday.

“The HKNP was deemed an unlawful group – how can other oppressed groups hope to survive?” asked one message.

On another message, the Chinese characters for “independence” were defaced.

The Student Union had converted part of the democracy wall to a “Lennon wall” in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, when a similar wall was set up in Admiralty.

The university said the Lennon wall modification was against regulations and asked the Student Union to remove it. The university threatened to take back control of the wall unless the union complied. The deadline was set for 1:30pm on Thursday but was extended to 6:00pm on Friday.

In response, the Student Union decried it as an infringement on free speech and said they would not comply.

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.