Large crowds are gathering in Yuen Long (New Territories) as of 17:30 (local time) on Saturday, July 27, despite a police ban on holding protests in the area. Demonstrators have rallied near the Yuen Long MTR station as well as on Lok Road, Nam Pin Wai, Sai Pin Wai, and Castle Peak Road. Police officers are reportedly fire tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse the crowds. Clashes between protesters and police officers are possible in the coming hours if the demonstrations continue. Localized transportation and commercial disruptions are also likely around the protest sites.
Police officials also rejected applications for one of two demonstrations planned for Sunday, July 28. Activists will be allowed to organize a rally in Charter Garden in Central but it must end by 23:00. The second demonstration was set to be held at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park in Sheung Wan with protesters marching to Charter Garden; however, police officials banned it for public safety reasons.
Further protests are also planned in the coming weeks. Demonstrations are expected to be held in western Hong Kong Island and Tseung Kwan O on August 4, Wong Tai Sin and Tai Po on August 10, Sham Shui Po and eastern Hong Kong Island on August 11, Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan on August 17, and Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing on August 18.
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 The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn.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 spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. On July 14, clashes between police and protesters in a Sha Tin shopping mall left 22 people hospitalized. On July 21, a group of pro-government men armed with poles attacked protesters and commuters in Yuen Long, leaving 45 people injured.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate flight and airport service disruptions, a heightened security presence, and crowded conditions at HKG, avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political subjects in public or on social media, remain vigilant for criminal and violent behavior, particularly during scheduled protest days and even in areas away from protest sites.
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