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More than 300 people arrested in anti-govt protests across HK

27 May 2020

By The SUN

Police in riot gear rush to stop protesters disrupting traffic in Central at noon today

The Police say they have arrested more than 300 people across Hong Kong today, May 27, as protesters gathered in various districts to protest the controversial national anthem bill that was tabled for a debate at the Legislative Council.

Most of the arrests were made in Central and Causeway Bay, where police say around 180 people were detained for taking part in an illegal assembly.

The noontime protest in Central started at the junction of Des Voeux Road and Pedder Street, where hundreds of protesters stopped traffic.
At around 2pm, police officers raised a blue flag to warn people to disperse before firing pepper-ball rounds. Several people were detained at the scene, but demonstrators regrouped on the flyover above Pedder Street, from where they chanted slogans.

The clashes eased three hours later.

Over in Causeway Bay, protesters who gathered on Leighton Road were chased down the street by the police.

Around 80 people, most of them young, were subsequently held by police at Hysan Place, where they were made to sit on the floor inside a cordoned-off area. People who shouted for their release were kept at a distance by police holding pepper sprays.
Tear gas was fired at protesters in Causeway Bay
A further 60 people were arrested in Mong Kok, where crowds gathered and tried to block Portland Street, but were dispersed by police.

At around 3pm, police raised the blue flag outside Langham Place, and proceeded to arrest those who did not comply with the order to disperse. Around 30 people were made to stand facing the wall  before police cordoned off the place.

The police blockade was later extended to Shan Tung Street, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Argyle Street and Nathan Road.
Police said in a statement that the arrests were made after protesters who tried to occupy Nathan Road, refused to comply with repeated warnings to leave immediately. The protesters reportedly placed rubbish on the road in an attempt to halt traffic.

About 50 people were also rounded up in Admiralty, just off Queen’s Road East in Wanchai.

A police statement said they received a report at about 1:30pm that protesters had been gathering in Wanchai, and occupying Hennessy Road.

Press people in protective gear swarmed outside World-Wide House in Central
“Officers finally intercepted the crowd on Queen's Road East near Justice Drive.  After investigation, more than 50 people were arrested for participating in an unauthorized assembly,” said the statement.

Separately, 16 people, aged between 14 and 40, were arrested on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons, possessing an instrument fit for an unlawful purpose, and dangerous driving. Police also seized three vehicles.
According to a police statement, those arrested included “rioters” who set fire to rubbish and threw large objects on the MTR tracks, placed nails on roads to puncture car tyres, or joined slow-drive protests outside the Cross Harbour Tunnel.

Police also arrested people said to have been found in possession of petrol bombs and hammers in public places.

Local news reports said the arrests were made in Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung, and Causeway Bay.

Meanwhile, nails and fences were reportedly found on main roads in Hung Hom and Tseung Kwan O, as well as on the railway tracks at Kwai Hing MTR station.

Activists had issued calls on social media for protesters to derail the Legco debate, and for people to paralyze major roads and rail stations across the city before 7am, with the aim of diverting police attention from Admiralty.
The biggest protest post-Covid was held on Sunday, May 24, to oppose the national security law

Although no large-scale protests took place during the morning rush-hour, big crowds gathered in the key districts starting at noon, many of them secondary school kids who were supposed to be on their first day back in school.

Protesters are taking to the streets again to show their dissatisfaction with what they see as Beijing’s new bid to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong.

The national anthem bill, which will be debated in Legco over three days, punishes anyone who misuses of insults the Chinese national anthem, March of the Volunteers. Violators face up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,450).

Protesters are also angry about a national security law that Beijing is crafting to prohibit acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or conspiracy with foreign influences in Hong Kong.

China's National People’s Congress is due to discuss the controversial new bill tomorrow. (with reports from SCMP and HK Free Press)

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