1 July march against security law and police ban to take place
Civil Human Rights Front calls on Hongkongers to protest against the security law and for the "five demands". For Figo Chan, “if we stay silent because of fear, our freedoms will be undermined for sure.” Organisers urge participant to protest peacefully. Some 4,000 police agents will be deployed.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Civil Human Rights Front, a pro-democracy group, has decided to hold the traditional 1 July march despite a ban imposed by police on "health" grounds and the fear of violence.
The announcement comes a few hours after China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) unanimously passed a national security law for Hong Kong, which targets secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces that endanger national security. The law takes effect tomorrow.
A march has been held every year since 1 July 2003, when hundreds of thousands of people came together to oppose a security law drafted by the Hong Kong government of the time, deemed too restrictive of freedoms.
Civil Human Rights Front deputy convenor Figo Chan said that the main slogans of the march are ‘oppose the national security law’ and ‘five demands, not one less’.
The five demands stem from the past year’s protest movement in favour of democracy and against a draft extradition bill, which attracted up to two million people, with protesters raising their arm with an open hand to represent the five demands.
The demands include universal suffrage and an independent investigation into police brutality. To prevent and contain tomorrow’s rally, at least 4,000 policemen will be deployed.
“We hope all Hongkongers can take to the streets to oppose the national security law,” said Chan. “I know it is difficult for Beijing to withdraw it, but we have to stand up and voice out.”
“We are aware of the risks of being prosecuted,” Chan added. “But we insist on taking the lead, as we want to tell Hongkongers not to fear. If we stay silent because of fear, our freedoms will be undermined for sure.”
Chan urged participants to protest peacefully. The rally is set to begin at East Point Road in Causeway Bay at 2pm and start marching to Central at 3pm. (P.W.)