On Sunday, May 10, hundreds of protesters gathered in ten shopping centers across Hong Kong, including Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, Cityplaza in Taikoo Shing, and Moko Mall in Mong Kok, to demonstrate against the perceived pro-Beijing government. Police dispersed protesters using pepper spray and at least one pepper ball, and arrested over 250 individuals across the territory. In the evening (local time), small groups of protesters attempted to block roads by setting trash cans and tires on fire but were dispersed by police. Hospital officials reported that 18 individuals were taken to hospitals with protest-related injuries.
Plans for further pro-democracy protests have also been made for Thursday, June 4, on the anniversary of the June 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and Saturday, June 9, the one-year anniversary of the 2019 anti-extradition bill protests. Spontaneous protests are likely to occur on other days.
Separately, Chief Executive Carry Lam announced on Monday, May 11, that the government would review the territory's educational system as they believe its liberal general education has helped fuel pro-democracy protests. This move is likely to incite deeper anger against the government and spark further protests.
Further protests are expected in Hong Kong over the near term. Clashes between rival protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations have been held throughout Hong Kong since June 2019 to protest a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the demonstrations. Pro-democracy candidates won 389 of the 452 seats in the territory's district council elections on November 24. The pro-democracy movement victory and the high turnout (71 percent) of the vote suggest that the public continues to support protests. Over 8000 people have been arrested since the protests began.
After a break in protests due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, demonstrations have increased in frequency since the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in late April. However, as of May 11, public gatherings of more than eight people remain forbidden due to the virus, which may inhibit protest activity.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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