Of the 30 people chosen to speak throughout the evening, 24 openly criticised the government, two made neutral comments while four expressed sympathy for Lam’s administration.
But it is unclear what, if anything, Lam can offer.
Both she and Beijing have ruled out any further concessions to protesters, whose five demands include an independent inquiry into police conduct, an amnesty for more than 1,500 people arrested and fully free elections.
On Wednesday, a top Chinese envoy in the city described those demands as “political blackmail”, raising concerns that Lam has been given little wiggle room to de-escalate simmering public anger towards her administration and the police.
Throughout her appearance on Thursday Lam resisted making concrete commitments beyond continuing to listen to people and holding more town halls.