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Saturday, November 16, 2019, 22:32
PLA HK Garrison soldiers join locals in clearing roadblocks
By Kathy Zhang
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 22:32 By Kathy Zhang


HONG KONG – Soldiers of People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison, dressed in civilian clothes, joined a group of local residents Saturday afternoon in clearing barricades set up by radicals to block traffic near the barracks in Kowloon East.

Large groups of local residents spontaneously pitched in to remove roadblocks set up by rioters at various locations that paralyzed traffic, causing great inconvenience to commuters and hindering emergency access to several hospitals. The riotous mobs also targeted the railway system, vandalizing numerous stations and throwing firebombs and objects onto railway tracks.

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Personnel from the Chinese People's Liberation Army barracks in Hong Kong help clear roads after days of violent protests when radicals erected roadblocks across the city, Nov 16, 2019. (PHOTOS PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

In Kowloon East, a large group of ordinary people were seen removing bricks and debris from a main road. They were joined by the soldiers at about 4:20 pm to the applause of the people around. Their combined efforts had greatly sped up the chore.

The soldiers returned to their barracks after the road was cleared of debris and opened to traffic.

That was not the first time that PLA Hong Kong Garrison soldiers volunteered to help out. Last year, soldiers also helped to remove fallen trees on the trails of country parks in the aftermath of a massive typhoon in October.  

They also routinely donated blood to the local blood bank. 

Athena Kung, a barrister, said that the move by the soldiers was “reasonable” and “lawful”. This kind of community volunteer work in casual attire was no different from residents’ spontaneously picking up waste on the road, Kung said, adding that it is all for the interest of Hong Kong.

Contact the writer at kathyzhang@chinadailyhk.com

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