Pro-democracy protesters have been gathering in Admiralty and other downtown areas of Hong Kong since the early morning hours (local time) of Monday, July 1. Demonstrators are gathering on main roads, including Harcourt Road, Fenwick Pier Street, Lung Wo Road, and near the Hong Kong Convention Centre. Barricades have been erected by protesters and some public transportation disruptions have been reported. A heavy police presence has been reported around the protest sites, with some instances of officers using batons and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse the crowds. Tensions remain high and the use of force by police officers may escalate in the coming hours. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Significant business and transportation disruptions are anticipated in the financial area of the city throughout Monday, which is a public holiday. The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) is planning an annual protest march, with demonstrators expected to gather at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and march to the LegCo complex in Admiralty. Earlier in the morning, protesters disrupted a flag raising ceremony at the LegCo complex. Significant transportation disruptions, including main road closures, MTR and other public transportation closures and congestion, and increased traffic on cross-harbor tunnels, are expected.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held since June 9 in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China, along with Macau and Taiwan. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms guaranteed by China in 1997 and may be used to silence dissent and criticism.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, and anticipate localized transportation and business disruptions and a heightened security presence.
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