Several thousand people are protesting in Sheung Shui (New Territories) as of the late afternoon (local time) on Saturday, July 13, to oppose the presence of Chinese traders. Activists on social media have said that police are clashing with protesters and using pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd. Businesses in the area have reportedly closed down. Further clashes between police and protesters are possible, as well as transportation disruptions in the area.
Protest activity has spread from Hong Kong Island in recent days. An estimated 250,000 people participated in a protest march in Kowloon on Sunday, July 7. Additional demonstrations are expected in Kowloon and the New Territories in the coming weeks. 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 and other territories. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms and 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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