Police dispersed protesters in Sheung Wan with tear gas and rubber bullets on Sunday, July 21, following a mass protest march from Causeway Bay. Tens of thousands of people attended the march, which was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) and began in Causeway Bay and proceeded through Wan Chai, Admiralty, Central, and Sheung Wan. Around 22:30 (local time), police began firing tear gas on Connaught Road and Des Voeux Road in Sheung Wan. As of 23:30, the protesters are withdrawing from Sheung Wan with many assembling around Admiralty. A heightened security presence, use of crowd dispersal tactics, and transportation disruptions are expected in Central, Admiralty, and Sheung Wan. Clashes with security forces are possible in the coming hours.
Additionally, violent clashes were reported in Yuen Long (New Territories) around 23:00. A large group of men in white shirts clashed with returning protesters in the Yuen Long MTR station, resulting in several injuries. West Rail Line MTR service disruptions are reported due to the violence.
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. The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn.
Protests have become more violent in recent weeks, with clashes at Sha Tin on July 14 resulting in the hospitalization of 22 people. Protesters have accused police of "kettling," or blocking all exits of a certain space.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments to 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 near any protest events.
Copyright and Disclaimer