A crowdfunding campaign to raise HK$350,000 for jailed activist Edward Leung’s appeal has reached its goal within 15 minutes of being launched.

Leung was sentenced to six years in jail last year in connection with rioting during the 2016 unrest in Mong Kok. It was triggered by authorities’ attempts to clear street food hawkers at Lunar New Year.

Edward Leung
Edward Leung. Photo: Facebook/Edward Leung.

Leung’s appeal will be heard next Wednesday. A message was posted on his Facebook page by his volunteer team, saying that they decided to hire a senior counsel to represent Leung, and would like to raise HK$350,000 through crowdfunding.

“We sincerely hope that you could give Edward a hand and thank you in advance for your contribution,” the message said.

Within 15 minutes, the campaign was stopped as it surpassed its goal. A total of 1,268 people donated HK$453,562.

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Leung’s 2016 election campaign slogan “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” has widely been used by protesters during the ongoing protests, originally sparked by an ill-fated extradition law.

It was also incorporated into the protest song Glory to Hong Kong, common seen as an unofficial “national anthem” for protesters.

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Netizens have shared a speech by Leung about an anti-mask law during his 2016 election campaign in response to the Hong Kong government’s implementation of such a law at midnight. Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration invoked the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance to ban masks at lawful and unlawful protests.

“A few years ago, Ukraine passed an anti-mask law. Do you what happened in Ukraine? A revolution started in Ukraine. You want to do it? Do it, we will fight till the end,” Leung said at the time.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.