The Hong Kong police issued a letter of rejection on Friday, October 18, for a rally in West Kowloon on Sunday, October 20. Initially, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) planned for supporters to gather at Salisbury Garden starting at 13:30 (local time) before marching to West Kowloon station. According to police officials, the march was banned due to violence during previous demonstrations. As of Friday afternoon, it is unclear if the CHRF will attempt to hold the rally despite the police ban.
Further demonstrations are expected to take place in the coming days. Later on Friday a masked human chain protest across 18 districts is expected to be held on from 19:00 to 21:00. Supporters are being asked to wear a mask and gather at all MTR stations along the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island, and East Rail lines. Additional demonstrations may occur in the near term with little notice.
The MTR Corporation has also announced that all MTR, Light Rail, and bus services will cease operations from 22:00 on Friday due to repair works following violent protests. Representatives said that this would not affect the Airport Express. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website. Continued rail disruptions are expected in the coming days.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity.
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 of 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.
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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