Despite a previous government rejection of a march to Admiralty, protesters have continued past the planned march endpoint in Wan Chai to occupy major streets in Admiralty and Central on Sunday, July 21. As of 17:30 (local time), thousands of protesters are marching along Harcourt Road, Connaught Road, Hennessy Road, and other areas in Admiralty, Central, and Wan Chai. It is unclear whether the move is officially sanctioned by police authorities, though some local sources have stated that police are allowing people to occupy Harcourt Road until at least 18:00. The protest march was previously approved to end in Southorn Playground in Wan Chai and last until 23:59.
Significant transportation and business disruptions are reported in the area as thousands of people participate in the march. A heightened security presence is also reported, including fences and water barriers around government buildings and police in riot gear. The march has been peaceful as of 17:30, though clashes between police and protesters are possible, particularly if police move to clear the streets and if protesters remain in the area after 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 The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn.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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