University of Auckland Hong Kong Lennon Wall allegedly vandalised by Chinese students

A wall at the University of Auckland where students could post thoughts and messages of support for those involved in protests in Hong Kong has been vandalised.

So-called 'Lennon Walls' provide a space where individuals can post peaceful messages about protests currently underway in Hong Kong.

While the Lennon Walls began appearing around the world during the 2014 Hong Kong democracy protests, more have popped up in the wake of massive protests in Hong Kong over the last month against a Bill allowing Hong Kongers to be extradited to China for trial.

One has now been vandalised at the University of Auckland following demonstrations at the campus on Tuesday in support of the Hong Kong protests.

Pictures sent to Newshub show the Lennon Wall filled with colourful post-it-notes and messages before they were torn down as well as an image of the wall after the vandals struck.

The wall before being vandalised.
The wall before being vandalised. Photo credit: Supplied.
The wall after being vandalised.
The wall after being vandalised. Photo credit: Supplied.

The University of Auckland told Newshub three men "were seen ripping the posters off the walls before running towards Princes St with them" on Tuesday night.

"Security attended and spoke with a witness but we don't have any information about them or where they are from at this stage."

Newshub has been told the three individuals were Chinese and from other universities.

It's not the first Lennon Wall to be vandalised since protests began in Hong Kong in June. University of Queensland students were shocked when a wall at their campus was plastered with offensive remarks.

About 100 people turned out to the Auckland protest on Tuesday afternoon. It was a mostly peaceful affair, but there was a confrontation when a pro-Beijing man appeared holding a sign saying "Hong Kong independence mob".

A similar protest at the university last week became physical as students clashed over the Hong Kong Bill and Beijing's influence in the city.

Video shows pro-Chinese government students verbally threatening another group of students before pushing protest organiser Serena Lee to the ground.

The China Consulate in Auckland later released a statement praising the "spontaneous patriotism" of the students standing up for China. Lee told Newshub she has received death threats since the demonstration.

The University of Auckland says a formal investigation is underway into last week's demonstration and the students involved have been spoken to. A police spokesperson told Newshub that police have spoken with the complainant and will be investigating the incident in due course.

However the China Consulate has slammed New Zealand media reports of the incident and the events in Hong Kong as "biased". 

"The Consulate General strongly condemns the use of the recent situation in Hong Kong, under the pretext of so-called academic freedom and freedom of expression, on the university campus to engage in smearing attacks on the Chinese government and the Hong Kong SAR government, inciting anti-China sentiment, and creating opposition between Chinese and Hong Kong students," a translated version of the Chinese text said.

"The Consulate General wishes to reiterate here that Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong and that Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs, and no external forces can interfere."

Lennon Walls originated in Prague following the assassination of John Lennon, becoming a symbol of peace and love. This served as an inspiration for the 2014 Hong Kong Lennon Walls.