Members of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) announced on Friday, August 30, that a rally and march planned in downtown Hong Kong on Saturday, August 31, has been called off. CHRF leaders canceled the protest after losing an appeal to have a police ban on the event overturned. Police officials denied the group permission to hold the march on Thursday, August 29, citing public order concerns. As of 13:00 (local time) on Friday, it is unclear if supporters will gather despite the ban.
Earlier on Friday, police officers arrested three prominent activists, including Joshua Wong. According to police officials, Wong and another activist are being investigated for their roles in an unauthorized protest outside of a police station on June 21. It is possible that the arrests will trigger further protests in the coming hours and days. A rally organized by veterinary groups is still scheduled to be held on Friday in Central at Chater Garden from 19:45 until 22:00.
Additional demonstrations by anti-extradition bill supporters are expected to be held in the coming days. A territory-wide general strike is set to begin at 13:00 on Monday, September 2, and continuing through Tuesday, September 3. Workers from at least 20 different sectors are expected to participate. This strike will coincide with planned secondary school and university student strikes on Monday and Tuesday. Secondary students in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon plan to gather at Edinburgh Place from 10:30 to 17:00 on September 2. University students are also calling for a rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 15:00 until 17:00.
An August 5 general strike in Hong Kong resulted in severe transportation disruptions, including flight and public transportation cancelations, and violent clashes between protesters and police. Although the upcoming strikes and rallies are intended to pass off peacefully, violent clashes are possible. Severe transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be expected throughout Hong Kong.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held in Hong Kong since June 9, in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow authorities in 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 The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn. Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. On July 21, a group of pro-government men armed with bars and sticks attacked protesters and commuters in Yuen Long, leaving 45 people injured. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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