Scholarism member Derek Lam Shun-hin’s court appearance on Friday morning led to scuffles between Lam’s supporters and a pro-government movement group.
Members of Defend Hong Kong and student activist group Scholarism were at Kowloon City Magistrate’s Court to voice their support for the police and Lam respectively. The two groups reportedly hurled verbal abuse at each other, Ming Pao reported.
Defend Hong Kong convenor Fu Chan-chung was involved in a scuffle with a man masked in a black T-shirt in court over seating arrangements. The man was later handcuffed and taken away by the police.
Scholarism member Oscar Lai Lok-man said that the man was not a member of Scholarism but that Fu behaved tauntingly. He also said that Scholarism advocates non-violent protests, and would not initiate an argument against those with different opinions.
Lai and other Scholarism members asked for the charges against Lam to be dropped, saying Lam was only there to support the hawkers. “You can see that the reasonable [Derek] Lam Shun-hin was only trying to stop the escalation of violence. How can he be charged with rioting or unlawful assembly?”
He echoed Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong’s comments on Thursday about some people wanting to link the student group with the Mong Kok riots. “If there are any organisations which try to falsely accuse Scholarism [of being involved in the Mong Kok unrest], we will contest your claim,” he said.
Lam was arrested on Wednesday morning for alleged involvement in the Mong Kok unrest this week. Scholarism released a statement after the arrest saying that Lam was not involved in any violent behaviour, and that the group was “angered by the arbitrary arrest by the police”.