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AP Photos: Hong Kongers use masquerade as new protest tactic

Winnie the Pooh, Guy Fawkes, Pepe the Frog — these are the new faces of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement.

Demonstrators masqueraded Friday night as their favorite characters in defiance of the government's ban this month on face coverings at public gatherings.

Protesters in the semi-autonomous Chinese city took a humorous approach to draw attention to their cause as they try to keep up the pressure on the government five months since the movement erupted.

A protester wears a mask during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as Winnie the Pooh and other characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoMark Schiefelbein)

Many assumed the identity of Winnie the Pooh, because Chinese internet users joke that the talking bear resembles President Xi Jinping.

Others wore Guy Fawkes masks, a global symbol of antigovernment protests. Some became Pepe the Frog, a character adopted by Hong Kong protesters unaware of its association with U.S. far-right extremists.

A protester wears a mask forming a human chain during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

A protester wears a mask during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoMark Schiefelbein)

A protester wears a mask, forming a human chain during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

A protester wears a mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoFelipe Dana)

A protester wears a mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

A protester wears a mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

A protester wears a Guy Fawkes mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

A protester wears a mask during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoMark Schiefelbein)

A protester wears a mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoVincent Yu)

A protester wears a mask during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoMark Schiefelbein)

A protester wears a Guy Fawkes mask during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong protesters masqueraded as various characters in defiance of a government ban on face coverings at public gatherings. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)