News Alerts

01 Oct 2019 | 05:00 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Protesters begin to gather in downtown areas October 1 /update 104

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Crowds are beginning to gather in downtown areas of Hong Kong on October 1 despite a police ban on protests; MTR service disruptions ongoing

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/1/2019, 4:00 PM until 10/4/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Groups of demonstrators are reportedly beginning to gather in downtown Hong Kong as of 12:40 (local time) on Tuesday, October 1, despite a ban on protests. According to social media posts, dozens of people dressed in black are meeting at East Point Road (Causeway Bay) to march at 13:00. Protesters are also reportedly starting to gather in Wan Chai. Officials have closed a number of MTR stations, including Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Prince Edward due to safety concerns. A full list of affected stations can be found on the MTR website. Multiple malls also closed on Tuesday due to the threat of violent protests. A heightened security presence has been reported in the downtown areas, with individuals being searched when passing through checkpoints. Minor clashes broke out between protesters and pro-China crowds near the Wan Chai MTR station on Tuesday morning. Police officers used pepper spray to disperse the groups and detained at least one person. Further violence between protesters and the police or pro-China groups are possible in the coming hours.

Activists have called for multiple rallies on Tuesday amid celebrations of the Chinese National Day Carnival. From 13:00 to 23:59, protesters will gather at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), while a protest march will take place from 14:00 from Victoria Park to Chater Road. A five-district rally will also take place as of 13:30 from Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, and Wan Chai. Finally, at 20:00, a candlelight vigil will be held for the protest victims at the Harbourfront of the Victoria Harbour.

A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity.

Context

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.

Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

 

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