Another March Planned as Hong Kong Heads Into 11th Week of Anti-Extradition Bill Protests

Another march against Hong Kong’s suspended extradition bill has been planned for Sunday, announced the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the main opposition group behind the Hong Kong protests.

The group made the announcement in a press conference in the afternoon of Aug. 13. The planned march will take place in the city’s financial district of the Central, to begin at 3 p.m. local time going from Victoria Park to Charter Garden.

The march will continue calling on the Hong Kong government to meet the protesters’ five demands, including the full withdrawal of the extradition bill and universal suffrage.

However, the march has an additional purpose—calling for an end to the Hong Kong police’s violent actions.

Jimmy Sham, CHRF’s convenor, criticized police for their actions over the past weekend, saying that the escalation of violent tactics were in total disregard of police guidelines and human rights standards.

HK protests
Riot police stand off with protesters at Kwai Fong district in Hong Kong on Aug. 11, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Police have been accused of abusing their power after they fired tear gas at protesters inside a subway station and shot rubber bullets and pepper pellets towards protesters at close range over the weekend.

Sham also criticized Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam for failing to listen to public opinion and smearing protesters as “rioters.”

The upcoming march would be the fourth one organized by CHRF since mass protests started June. Each time, the turnout had been extremely high considering that Hong Kong has a population of just over 7 million people.

Hong Kongers Protest Over China Extradition Law
Protesters march on a street during a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

On June 9, over 1 million people joined the group’s first organized march. The date has since been considered the start of the current protests in Hong Kong for the government to fully withdraw the extradition bill.

Since then, Hongkongers have continued to take to the streets every weekend en masse, amid fears that the proposed laws would make those passing through Hong Kong vulnerable to extradition to communist China where they could be convicted on trumped up charges in the opaque court system.

One week later on June 16, two million protesters joined the second CHRF-organized march even after the bill was suspended by Lam, followed by over 550,000 protesters on July 1, which was the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese sovereignty 22 years ago.

Hong Kong protests
Protesters attend the annual pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty Images)

During the press conference, CHRF stated that they had filed a march application to the police and they were now waiting for approval.

Sham urged that the police not to reject their application, saying that the march would be a “peaceful, rational, and non-violent” protest. He added that he expected turnout for the march was around 300,000.

When asked by a reporter what would happen if the police rejected the march request, Figo Chan, CHRF’s vice convener, said that they would appeal. And if their appeal is rejected, Chan said that there will be discussions and announcements on how to proceed.

Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer


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