Marco Leung standing on the rooftop of Pacific Place. on June 15. Photo: RTHK

The volunteer who fell to his death during the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong has been identified and described as a “martyr” by those who took part in the street marches.

The 35-year-old man died after falling from Pacific Place in Admiralty on June 15 and has been described as a citizen who cared for others in the city.

Marco Leung helped deliver bags of rice to the underprivileged in Hong Kong. Photo: Facebook

According to his Facebook page, Marco Leung, who was praised as a “martyr” by many anti-extradition law protesters, was an active volunteer as he had posted pictures of himself participating in charity events in Hong Kong and China on Facebook. He had also joined World Vision Hong Kong’s child sponsorship program.

Leung was also once a supporter of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU), a pro-establishment camp. On September 1, 2016, he posted some pictures on social media to encourage his friends to vote for Aron Kwok Wai-keung, a current HKFTU lawmaker, and Wong Kwok-hing, who lost his seat to Roy Kwong Chun-yu of the Democratic Party. The 2016 Legco election was held on September 4.

Leung’s Facebook page, which has a cover picture saying “No to Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill,” has been changed to a memorized account with “Remembering Marco Leung.”

Neither Kwok nor Kwong have replied to inquiries from Asia Times.

At about 4:30pm on June 14, Leung was seen wearing a yellow raincoat and standing alone on the rooftop of Pacific Place, where thousands of protesters had stayed in the evening on June 12 after they were dispersed by armed police with tear gas.

On a banner, he had written “No extradition to China,” “Fully retract the bill,” “We are not a riot,” “Released the students and injured,” “Carrie Lam to step down” and “Help Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor Photo: RTHK

Leung’s action came shortly after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor held a media briefing and said she had decided to suspend, not retract, the controversial extradition bill amendment.

At about 7pm, Leung took off the raincoat and sat down for a rest. He ignored the police negotiator, who was trying to persuade him to end his protest. At 9pm, he became emotionally distraught and climbed on the scaffolding outside the building, which was under renovation. Four firefighters held his arm but Leung struggled and fell 20 meters to the ground floor. He hit the sidewalk without touching the cushion set out by firefighters.

During Leung’s protest, Kwong had arrived at the site and tried to persuade him to return to a safe place. After he was rejected by police, he went to the opposite road and tried to speak to Leung with a loudspeaker, but failed to stop the tragedy. 

Read: Hundreds seek support after clashes in HK

Some people commented online about rumors that Kwong should be responsible for Leung’s death as Kwong had talked to him by phone about some payment issues. Kwong dismissed the rumors and said he had never been able to talk to Leung.

He condemned those who started the rumor and said it was disrespectful to the deceased. He said Carrie Lam should be responsible for Leung’s death. 

Flowers at Pacific Place in Admiralty after the death of Leung, who fell from a shopping center. Photo: Asia Times

On the morning on June 16, large numbers of Hong Kong people took white flowers to Pacific Place to mourn the death of Leung. Before the anti-extradition law rally started in the afternoon, the Civil Human Rights Front called for participants to pay a one-minute silent tribute. After the rally, it was announced that the number of marchers amounted to “two million and one,” with the one referring to Leung. The police estimated that the rally attracted only 338,000 people at its peak.

On June 16 evening, Carrie Lam made a statement and apologized for failing to explain the extradition law clearly to the public. On June 18, she apologized again in a media briefing, but refused to retract the bill and resign. 

Read: ‘Two million’ protest against HK extradition law

Read: HK leader apologizes but refuses to retract bill or resign

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