HK protesters declare restaurants ‘yellow’ or ‘blue’
Hong Kong, Nov 2: With anti-government demonstrations in their fifth month, protesters in Hong Kong have segregated restaurants over their political affiliations by using colours — “yellow-ribbon” means it supports the protest movement, while “blue-ribbon” refers to those places deemed to support the government and the police, the media reported on Saturday.
Restaurants and other businesses in the city have been caught between anti-government protesters and those who support the government and police reports the South China Morning Post.
Taking sides, willingly or unwillingly, brings the risk of offending the other camp, losing business, or having the business premises vandalised.
Meanwhile, detailed lists were being circulated on social media sites, with map applications showing the colour of restaurants in different districts.
One map has labelled more than 1,700 establishments as “yellow-ribbon” and over 1,300 as “blue-ribbon”.
Protesters patronise yellow-ribbon outlets while shunning the rest.
Catering sector lawmaker Tommy Cheung Yu-yan has said that customers have the right to choose where to eat and no one should attack businesses over their political stance.
“Every customer is a guest, no matter what his or her political views are. Business owners and their employees should uphold that,” he added.
The protesters’ readiness to label businesses has caused jitters within the industry, said the South China Morning Post.
TamJai Yunnan Mixian, a popular noodle chain, was branded “blue-ribbon”, because police officers have been heard at its outlets referring to protesters as cockroaches.
Maxim’s – one of Hong Kong’s largest food and catering firms – has had its outlets as well as its franchises boycotted and vandalised by protesters.
Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya has also seen widespread vandalism of its outlets by protesters.