A "singing dama" dances with a senior fan inside the Tuen Mun Park, where nearby residents have been complaining for years about the nuisance caused by performers. Photo: Facebook/YouTube

Thousands joined a weekend gathering at the Tuen Mun Park in Hong Kong to rally against the middle-aged “Singing Aunties”— also known as “dama” – who the protesters say regularly cause a public nuisance with their singing and dancing in the neighborhood park.

The “Tuen Mun Park Revival” procession on Saturday occupied the roads and surrounded the Tuen Mun police station to voice discontent. A group named The Tuen Mun Park Sanitation Concern Group started the procession to demand that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department handle uncontrolled noise pollution caused by the women and their admirers — some called the relationship between fans and singers “perverted.”

Protesters started their march at 3pm from the San Wo Lane Playground and made their way to the park. Initially, there were about 500 participants. They were then joined by onlookers who supported the cause.

The protesters had confrontations with some “damas” at the park, which resulted in a scuffle. A squadron of police officers set up a perimeter outside a washroom after a “dama” rushed in from the crowds.

At around 6 pm, the protest had officially ended but a crowd remained at the scene. A few protesters argued with police officers insisting they should have let an injured protester leave the scene. Another scuffle ensued outside the V-City Mall. Police officers then used pepper spray to dispersed the crowd that had spilled onto the roads.

Still the protests were not over. A faction went over to the Tuen Mun Police Station — which is a three-minute walk from the Tuen Mun Park — to voice their frustrations at the police. About an hour later, the crowd dissipated.

Residents in the Tuen Mun district have become restless ever since hordes of “damas” have brought their performing troupe to the park. It has been reported that some of these women accept money while singing and dancing in a suggestive manner, which has angered citizens. Organizers of the protest say there were more than 10,000 people participating at the protest’s peak while the police suggested there were 1,800 at its peak.

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