A rally commemorating the fifth anniversary of the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests has been approved by the police.
According to Now News, police this afternoon issued a letter of no objection for the rally to take place in Tamar Park in Admiralty on Saturday, effectively making it a legal assembly.
Police have given approval for the rally to take place from 3pm to 10pm, but Civil Human Rights Front, the organizers of the event, announced that the rally would only run from 7pm to 9pm.
The Civil Human Rights Front’s plan to hold a rally at Tamar Park on Sat evening to commemorate the 5th anniversary of #OccupyHK has been approved by #HongKong #police #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/AvafbN9xjQ
— Damon Pang (@damon_pang) September 26, 2019
CHRF are also waiting for police to issue a letter of no objection to another upcoming rally on October 1, which is China National Day. The organization’s National Day rally is an annual event that draws thousands of people every year, and is typically used to raise awareness of pro-democracy causes and issues.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon, CHRF’s convenor, Jimmy Sham, said that if police refused to give a letter of no objection to either the Umbrella Movement or National Day rally, then they would cancel the events.
However, the past few months have shown that even when police ban a rally from taking place, people tend to still turn up in huge numbers as evidenced by the July 27 rally in Yuen Long, which was organized in response to a brutal attack by men in white shirts on pro-democracy protesters; and a rally on August 31 to mark the fifth anniversary of Beijing’s rejection of a call for universal suffrage for Hong Kong, which sparked the 79-day Umbrella Movement in 2014.
At yesterday’s press briefing, Sham said that if the authorities wanted the upcoming protests to go smoothly, then the best approach would be to approve them so that organizers could take charge of the proceedings.
The 2014 Umbrella Movement was born out of calls for universal suffrage, the right for Hongkongers to directly nominate and elect candidates for chief executive. The authorities had originally put forward a proposal that would have allowed Hongkongers to vote for their leader, but candidates first had to be screened by a pro-China committee.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Sham said that the anti-government protests that have rocked Hong Kong for four months are part of the city’s ongoing fight for democracy and that the Umbrella Movement was the precursor to it.