Police approve Civil Human Rights Front rally on Sunday

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Wan Chai protesting the controversial extradition bill on June 16, 2019. Photo by Tomas Wiik
Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Wan Chai protesting the controversial extradition bill on June 16, 2019. Photo by Tomas Wiik

Police have given the green light for the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) to hold a rally on Hong Kong Island this coming Sunday.

The CHRF, the organization behind some of the biggest marches in Hong Kong’s history, announced plans for the march last week pending a letter of no objection from police.

The organization announced yesterday evening that the Stand With Hong Kong Human Rights Day rally — which actually takes place two days before Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 — had been given the the go-head for a march from Victoria Park to Chater Road. People will be gathering at the park from 12pm, and the march will begin at 3pm.

This is the first CHRF rally to be approved by police since August. Though CHRF generally has cancelled its events when police refused to authorize them in the past, the fear of arrest did nothing to deter thousands of protesters from turning out nonetheless.

RTHK reports that the front’s vice-convenor, Eric Lai, said that they were hoping this weekend’s rally would be peaceful, and that more people will take part in the rally.

“From what we have seen in previous weeks, that nearly three million citizens cast their votes in the district council elections, we believe that they will also be encouraged and empowered to take part in protests,” Lai said.

“We hope as many people as possible will join the movement, not only to show support for human rights in Hong Kong, but also our outrage against police brutality in previous months.”

Speaking to reporters this morning ahead of a trip to Beijing, Police Commissioner Chris Tang called on protesters to remain peaceful, saying that the force had contingency plans in place in case they turned violent.

Police had also approved last Sunday’s rally, which saw tens of thousands of people gather to march from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hung Hom. However, barely an hour in, police deployed pepper spray and fired tear gas to disperse the mostly peaceful protesters, later claiming some had thrown smoke bombs.

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