Hundreds of people have reportedly marched through Central and other downtown areas of Hong Kong on the afternoon (local time) of Wednesday, October 2, to protest the police shooting of a demonstrator the day before. As of 14:20, a crowd that gathered at Grand Millennium Plaza in Sheung Wan after marching through Central. According to social media posts, protesters are also being asked to gather at Tamar for an impromptu rally. Roads were blocked around Chater Garden as the crowd marched through the area. Further traffic disruptions are possible in the coming hours if the march continues.
Tensions remain high in Hong Kong after a police officer shot a protester armed with a metal bar in Tsuen Wan on Tuesday afternoon. According to medical officials, the student is in critical condition but expected to survive. Hong Kong’s police commissioner said that the victim has been arrested for assaulting police and that an investigation into the shooting is ongoing, but from current video evidence the officer’s decision was “legal and reasonable.” Violent clashes broke out in numerous areas on Tuesday as demonstrators gathered despite a police ban on protests amid celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in Hong Kong in the coming days as territory-wide strikes have been called through Monday, October 7.
On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.
Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
The Chinese government doubled the number of mainland security troops deployed in Hong Kong during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.
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