A pro-Beijing alliance is trying to mobilise at least 10,000 people to “defend” national flags across Hong Kong.

The group, Safeguard Hong Kong, said on Friday that there’s been nine cases of flag defacing in the three months of protests.

The group has set up four WhatsApp lines to recruit volunteers, who will be given loudhailers to tell off anyone acting suspiciously. It is not immediately clear how many people they have enlisted already.

The alliance’s convenor, CPPCC member Kennedy Wong, said they’re not around to start a fight, but the volunteers will try to film the defacing process and report cases to the police.

“We are not looking to create any conflict. I think as a local Hongkonger, I think we have seen enough conflicts in the last three months. We do not want anymore,” he said.

Wong said that doesn’t mean ignoring illegal activities. “Like when I walk down the street I see a person snatching a lady’s purse, what would I do? Of course, I would call the police and then I will try to stop the attacker or the thief from getting away. Or course, within certain safety boundaries,” he said.

Wong said they don’t have enough time to make uniforms for all the volunteers, but he knows some teams will have some kind of identifiable apparel, like caps.

He’s also called on the government to seek court injunctions to ban people from getting close to flag poles of some 200 government buildings.

Wong said they haven’t decided how long their own flag-protecting action will last – but they’ll probably be around for at least two weekends.