Police responded to the "illegal rally" with pepper balls, sticks and shields. Protesters used their mobile phone flashlights, chanting slogans like "liberate Hong Kong". People are concerned about the mainland’s national security law. A mass rally is planned for 1 July, the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong’s central business district to mark the first anniversary of the start of the protest movement against the government’s extradition bill. At least a million people attended the rally on 9 June 2019, and the bill was eventually dropped.
Today's impromptu protest was not authorised by the police. Hundreds of policemen were deployed in and around Chater Garden, Des Voeux Road, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay, issuing warnings that any gathering was illegal.
People chanted slogans like “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times,” whilst squads of riot police charged the crowds, using pepper spray, sticks and shields (see video).
Some protesters waved Hong Kong’s independence flag whilst others brought along the British Hong Kong flag. Many turned on their mobile phone flashlights to show they were part of the protest.
For most, the main concern is China’s new national security law, which would stifle Hong Kongers’ freedom of speech and expression.
In a statement on Facebook on Tuesday, the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised the 9 June march, said that it applied for a mass rally on 1 July, the day when Hong Kong was handed over to China, to show grassroot opposition to the national security law.