Protests are ongoing across Hong Kong as of Sunday, May 24, in response to Beijing's controversial new plan that would directly impose new national security laws on the city. The unauthorized rallies have been taking place across the central business and shopping districts. Riot police, armored vehicles, and water cannons have been deployed across the city in an effort to disperse the protesters.
One of the largest gatherings is taking place in Causeway Bay. Social media sources show some protesters throwing plastic bottles, umbrellas, and branches at police forces, while police forces are currently using tear gas to disperse the protesters as of 15:25 (local time). Shops and nearby buildings have closed.
Protests are likely to continue throughout Sunday. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protests.
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 While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the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.
Copyright and Disclaimer