Brooklyn Asians show support for Hong Kong protesters

September 18, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Residents post messages on 86th Street ‘Lennon Wall’

BENSONHURST – Brooklyn’s growing and vibrant Asian-American community is firmly entrenched in American life, but there are signs that members of that community are keeping a watchful eye on the dramatic events in Hong Kong.

A message board, known as a Lennon Wall, has suddenly sprung up on the corner of Bay 26th Street and 86th Street in Bensonhurst to give local residents the opportunity to post handwritten notes of support for the pro-Democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.

The message board, located on the front of a shed at the entrance of Municipal Parking Bensonhurst # 2, the city-owned parking lot at 1 Bay 26th St., has a large printed sign above reading “#NYCLennonWallHK.”

A handful of messages have already appeared on the wall.
ebrooklyn media/Photo by Paula Katinas

“Please leave a support message using the marker and post-it note to show your solidarity with Hong Kong!” a printed message on the wall reads. Next to the message is a marker for residents to use, along with a sheet of post-it notes.

On Wednesday morning, a small handful of messages had been stuck to the local Lennon Wall. The post-it notes included messages in English such as “We are with you,” and “We support you.”

Named in memory of the late Beatle John Lennon, a Lennon Wall is a public space where residents write or paint messages of remembrance for a person or messages of support for a cause. The first Lennon Wall was created in Prague shortly after Lennon was assassinated in 1980. In the years since his death, thousands of fans have visited the wall to write Beatles lyrics and post tributes to him.

In 2014, pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong created several Lennon Walls to garner support for their cause. This summer, as protests escalated in Hong Kong over the controversial Fugitive Offenders Amendment, a proposal that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China, more than 150 Lennon Walls have popped up all over that country. Millions of protesters, mostly young people, have taken to the streets and have held sit-ins at Hong Kong International Airport to express their disgust with the proposed amendment as well as their desire for Hong Kong to have full independence.

ebrooklyn media/Photo by Helen Klein
The original Lennon Wall in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

China has had sovereignty over Hong Kong since 1997, when Great Britain handed it over, but Hong Kong has been able to maintain its own government and economic system separate from China.

Pro-Hong Kong Lennon Walls can be found in several cities around the world, including London, Berlin, Sydney and Tokyo.

There is also a Lennon Wall on Grand Street in lower Manhattan.

It isn’t surprising that Bensonhurst has become home to the latest Lennon Wall, according to Corey Row, who informed the Home Reporter of the wall’s existence.

Bensonhurst “is now home to another very large new growing Chinatown of the city,” Row told the Home Reporter in an email.

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