Pro-democracy demonstrators have begun marching from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay towards Admiralty on Hennessy Road as of 15:30 (local time) on Monday, July 1. The procession is being led by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which organizes a protest every year on July 1 to mark the anniversary of Hong Kong returning to Chinese control. Protesters continue to gather on Harcourt Road and a large police presence has been reported in the area. A significant group of demonstrators is also currently gathered outside of the LegCo building and have been attempting to force their way into the building. Riot police are inside the complex and have used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd. A significant police presence has also been reported on Lung Wo Road and near the Hong Kong Convention Center.
Tension remain high, particularly around the LegCo complex, and the situation may escalate with little warning around the protest sites. Significant transportation disruptions are ongoing in Admiralty, including road closures and crowded conditions on public transportation as more people move to join the demonstrations. Heightened security measures remain in place and police officers may use force to disperse the crowds in the coming hours; clashes between security personnel and protesters cannot be ruled out.
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, along with Macau and Taiwan. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms guaranteed by China in 1997 and may be used to silence dissent and criticism.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor 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.
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