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Protests held in key HK districts to mark 1st anniversary of 1M march

09 June 2020

By The SUN

Police made a number of arrests in Central, where protesters spread through several streets
Scores of people have taken to the streets in various parts of Hong Kong today, Jun 9, to mark the first year since an estimated one million people protested against the now-abandoned extradition bill proposed by government.

The protests were held despite police warnings that the gatherings were illegal as they were held without a permit, and violated social distancing regulations.


Earlier, the Philippine Consulate issued an advisory, telling Filipinos to avoid places where protests are expected to be held. For today, the areas identified were Wanchai, Central, Tai Koo, Kwai Chung, San Po Kong, Kowloon Bay, Kwun Tong and other areas on Hong Kong Island.

The advisory said protests are also expected to be held on Friday, Jun 12; Sunday, Jun 14; Tuesday, Jun 16; Friday, Jun 19; Saturday, Jun 20; and Sunday, Jun 21.

The biggest gathering today was the one that started in the early evening in Chater Garden in Central, and spilled onto neighboring streets.

Police moved in with pepper balls and pepper spray after raising the blue flag warning as protesters blocked Des Voeux Road Central, bringing evening rush-hour traffic to a standstill. A number of people were arrested, but figures were not immediately available.
The protesters also occupied Ice House Street and Queen’s Road Central, Queen Victoria Street, and all the way to Jubilee Street near Sheung Wan.

Reports say officers also fired pepper balls to disperse people who had set up an umbrella barricade at Queen Victoria Street.

The police later said they seized umbrellas, paint thinner and empty bottles from an overpass on the adjacent Jubilee Street.

Earlier at lunch time, protesters also gathered inside the Landmark mall in Central and the APM shopping mall in Kwun Tong in commemoration of the huge protest against what many Hongkongers felt was a threat to their basic freedoms.

Lunchtime protest inside the Landmark in Central (RTHK photo)

This time around, protesters held aloft banners advocating Hong Kong independence.

They turned on the torches in their mobile phones, chanted slogans and held up the banners which read “never forget the heart when you started, persist till the end.”

At the APM mall, protesters gathered on different floors and sang protest songs that called for the “liberation of Hong Kong.”
Protesters in the APM mall called for independence for Hong Kong (RTHK photo)
Later in the evening, local television showed hundreds of people also gathered in Mong Kok, where they faced off with police in full battle gear.

Some of those who took part in the protests said they wanted to show their outrage now as it could become impossible to do the same once Beijing implements the national security law it has crafted for Hong Kong.

Others said it might be their last show of defiance since China appears dead-set on cracking the whip on dissent in the Special Administrative Region.

Protests were noticeably muted since China’s National People’s Congress passed the national security bill for Hong Kong last week.

Despite this, another big protest is being planned for Jun 19, when the rule limiting public gatherings to no more than eight people is expected to have been lifted.

Organizers said they decided to move by a week their plan to commemorate another turning point in the protests.

This was on June 12 last year, when the legislative council was forced to stop debating the extradition bill, after thousands of protesters blocked all access roads leading to the central government offices.

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