Following vandalization, HK Lennon Wall bounces back

After being removed by an unauthorized person on January 29, the Hong Kong Lennon Wall in the Nest has reemerged.

AMS VP Admin Cole Evans said in a written statement to the Ubyssey that the AMS has approved the new wall under the same set of conditions as its predecessor.

“We’ve been in communication with UBC EHK about establishing a new Lennon Wall in the same location, and will be coordinating with them on how to monitor the installation. As an AMS approved installation this new Lennon Wall will be subject to the same regulations as the previous installation.”

UBC Enlightenment Hong Kong (EHK) is a UBC student group advocating for the protection of human rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong.

Teresa Tsang, a fourth-year Arts student with EHK said that the function of the wall will be the same as before with a few updates.

“We will try to post more news or updates about the things going on in Hong Kong bi-weekly. We’re trying to keep people updated rather than just posting comments,” she said.

Coronavirus fears

The reemergence of the wall has also brought with it new messages about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and other xenophobic messages towards China. One message touched upon the issue of Chinese birth tourism in Vancouver and another about the confirmed coronavirus cases in BC.

These messages have been removed by the AMS and Evans stated that any new messages of a similar nature will also be removed.

“The AMS will continue to remove all postings in the AMS Nest that violate our Respectful Community and Workplace Policy,” he wrote.

Tseng stated that using the wall as a platform to post negative messages towards China, its people and the virus is not the point of the wall.

“It’s not something to be targeted to Chinese people or the Chinese government but it’s more about how people can protect themselves here and also do something to make sure it’s not gonna be as bad as in China and as bad as Hong Kong,” she said.

“… The wall can also serve as a platform for people to spread the news and also to raise awareness of what the coronavirus is about in Canada.”

Shannon Chu, a third-year Arts student, also spoke out against the discriminatory posts in a written statement to the Ubyssey.

“The redecoration of the Lennon Wall with hateful messages has defeated the purpose of the HK Lennon Wall. It was meant for the UBC community to stand with the freedom movement in Hong Kong. It is certainly not a space to spread xenophobia or racism,” she wrote.

“Hong Kong has taken a toll in the past year with the protests and now the coronavirus.”