Tactical police clearing protesters from Lung Wo Road on Dec. 1, 2015 in Admiralty. (Photo: Laurel Chor/Coconuts Media)
Fancy exercising your freedom of expression on the streets this month? You might find yourself face-to-face with a few thousand police officers.
Ahead of the LegCo vote on Beijing’s framework for the 2017 election, the Hong Kong Police Department has decided to allocate 7,000-8,000 police officers for conflict and riot control, with an additional 350 retired cops to offer additional assistance.
Sounds like they’re expecting everything to be hunky-dory then.
Many have already begun speaking out against Beijing’s firmness in mandating all future chief executive candidates. From 2017 (and possibly beyond) Hong Kong’s CE will be prescreened by a nominating committee, which will likely consist of mainly pro-Beijing members.
On Sunday, Chairman of the Basic Law Committee Li Fei reminded legislators that the framework is unchangeable, and will apply for all future chief executive elections. Pro-democracy lawmakers then promised supporters that they would veto the decision at the upcoming vote on June 17.
Of course, if all parties reach an eventual agreement, then there will not be a single riot police officer in sight. Something (recent events, maybe?) tells us that this might not be the case, though.