August 27, 2019 / 7:41 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong artist offers free protest-themed tattoos

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong artist is offering free protest-themed tattoos to people who want to show their support for pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese territory.

The geometric tattoo combines an umbrella - the symbol of 2014 street protests - with the bauhinia flower, the floral emblem of Hong Kong.

“The idea is the umbrella is protecting the flower and Hong Kong,” Zada Lam, 28, told Reuters at his Kowloon shop where 200 people have received the tattoo since the latest protests began in June.

The city is grappling with its biggest political crisis since its handover to Beijing in 1997 and Communist Party authorities have sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible to quell the violence.

Last weekend’s protests saw some of the fiercest clashes yet between police and demonstrators since the protests began over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

One customer said the tattoo is a reminder of what protesters are fighting for.

“Just like everything that happened in Hong Kong recently, it is the same as the tattoo, which is difficult to be erased,” said the customer, who declined to be named.

(This story adds dropped first name in paragraph 3.)

Reporting by Ebrahim Harris and Joyce Zhou; editing by Darren Schuettler

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