Students cross a road as they head to school after participating in a joint 'school human chain rally' in Hong Kong on September 12, 2019. - Hong Kong's secondary schools have become the latest ideological battleground for pro-democracy protesters with thousands of students taking part in human chain rallies since the new academic year kicked off. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP)

HONG KONG, – A defiant protest anthem penned by an anonymous composer has become the unofficial new soundtrack to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, belted out by crowds at flashmobs in malls, on the streets and in the football stands.

“Glory to Hong Kong” first appeared on YouTube on 31 August and has quickly won a huge following among those pushing for greater democratic freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

In less than a fortnight the original version has racked up more than 1.3 million views while multiple copycats videos have been made — including one featuring an entire orchestra decked out in the helmets, goggles and gas masks worn by those on the barricades.

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Each night this week protesters have gathered at different malls across the city for impromptu flashmob concerts.

At a mall in the town of Sha Tin on Wednesday night hundreds of activists gathered to sing, many of them reading from scraps of paper with the lyrics on them.

“For all our tears on our land/Do you feel the rage in our cries,” the latest song begins. “Rise up and speak up, our voice echoes/Freedom shall shine upon us”.

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Alongside the Christian hymn “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord”, “Glory to Hong Kong” is a riposte to the city’s unelected leaders and Beijing after more than three months of huge and sometimes violent protests.

Little is known about the composer, who gave himself the online pseudonym “Thomas dgx yhl”.

But the song’s lyrics and melody have quickly spread within the movement.

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During a football match on Tuesday night between Hong Kong and Iran, crowds of local fans booed the Chinese national anthem, and then sung the new protest song as the match began.

Insulting China’s flag and anthem is banned on the mainland and Hong Kong’s local government are currently trying to pass a similar law.

Critics say that move is another blow to the free speech guarantees Hong Kong is supposed to maintain under the handover deal China agreed with Britain. (AFP)




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