Reopened Observation Wheel halted by botched protest
Hong Kong police arrested 19 members of the Greenpeace environmentalist group for alleged public nuisance
On the second day of the reopening of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel on the Central Harbourfront on Hong Kong Island, the new operator decided to close the ride because of a Greenpeace’s protest on Thursday morning.
At 7am, a dozen Greenpeace members climbed the structure to stage a protest against plastic in the ocean, HK01.com reported. However, their giant banner, measuring 20 by 12 meters, could not be deployed properly because of the strong wind.
That afternoon, police arrested 19 members of the environmentalist group for alleged public nuisance.
The group said they originally planned to start the action at 9am and finish in two hours before the attraction’s opening time of 11am. However, because of the weather issue, they were unable to finish the action on time.
The group apologized the inconvenience caused to all affected people, according to a post on Greenpeace Hong Kong Facebook.
The operator first announced on its Facebook page that the opening would be postponed until 6pm on Thursday but later decided to close the attraction for the whole day.
The operator said any tickets that had been booked for Thursday could be rescheduled to another time on or before March 31, 2018.
The fiasco came a day after the official reopening of the Ferris wheel, which had been shut down for four months under its new operator The Entertainment Corp Ltd (TECL), which has partnered with AIA Group for a three-year tenancy.
On Wednesday, more than a hundred people queued up before opening hours for a ride that cost only HK$20 (US$2.60), a big discount from the previous HK$100 per ride for an adult, Sing Tao Daily reported.
A Mr Chow, who was the first in the queue, said it was his first visit to the attraction as the previous ticket price had been too high, Oriental Daily reported.