Smaller protests are being held on Hong Kong Island ahead of a large march organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) on Sunday, July 21. Hundreds of people reportedly gathered in Southorn Playground in Wan Chai around 11:00 (local time) to march to the Central Government Complex at Tamar Park.
The CHRF-led march is expected to begin at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay at 15:00 and end in Wan Chai at 23:59, as opposed to Admiralty as previously planned. The protest is likely to be well attended and transportation disruptions, including crowded MTR conditions and road and MTR station closures, are likely, along with a heightened security presence. While the march is expected to be peaceful, clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out, particularly after the official end of the march at 23:59.
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 and other territories. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms and be used to silence dissent and criticism. The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn.
Protests have become more violent in recent weeks, with clashes at Sha Tin on July 14 resulting in the hospitalization of 22 people. Protesters have accused police of "kettling," or blocking all exits of a certain space.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments to 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 near any protest events.
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