March of July 1st: peaceful protests and some violence (Photo-Video)
by Paul Wang

A group of protesters tried to break into the parliament by destroying an entrance window. Attempt to stop the vandalism is useless. Fears for Chinese army intervention. Catholics and Protestants gathered at Victoria Park.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - At three o'clock in the afternoon, the July 1 march began, organized by the Civil Front for Human Rights. For 22 years, on the day of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the citizens of the territory demonstrate in favor of their freedom. This year the demonstrations are marked by the cancellation of the China extradition law, which risks reducing legal autonomy and freedom of expression in Hong Kong to almost zero.

Today's demonstration, started out peacefully, but has since had moments of great tension and violence. Some demonstrators, passing in front of the Legco buildings (Legislative Council, the Hong Kong parliament), prepared a sort of "ram" with a trolley, slamming it against the windows of the building (photo 2).

The authors of the vandalism wore helmets and gas masks and protected themselves from cameras with umbrellas. Some marchers tried to stop them, but they were pushed away.

The episode is potentially very serious  because violating the security of the parliament could make room for an intervention by the Chinese liberation army, based in Hong Kong. Some of the protesters question the ultimate goal of the perpetrators of the provocative vandalism .

One of those present explained: "The government does not listen to us ... Then we are forced to penetrate into the building!"

For weeks, the demonstrations that have followed demand the cancellation of the law, an independent investigation into the violence carried out by the police, cancel the definition of "revolt" at the demonstrations. From many parts (dioceses, political figures, etc.) there has been a request to the government to hear the frustration of the people of Hong Kong, but executive chief Carrie Lam remains firm on her position: to delay, but not cancel the law.

To avoid further provocation, the organizers decided not to end the march at the Legco's buildings, but in the center on the island.

This afternoon, before participating in the city march, at least 800 Catholics and Protestants gathered for a meeting of prayer and meditation. The meeting held under the "music pavilion" at Victoria Park, was organized by Justice and Peace in Hong Kong and other Protestant communities on the theme "Darkness and light for you are equal", taken from Psalm 139, 12b. After some chants, there were interventions by Fr. Jacob Kwok, from the diocese of Hong Kong (photo 3), and pastor Young Man Chan (photo 4).

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