Police quiz for protest planners after clashes

Top News | Cindy Wan 18 Jul 2019

Doubts were raised yesterday whether a protest in Hung Hom on July 27 can go ahead as planned, amid concerns of violent clashes.

This came after pro-government parties and business groups asked police to be extra cautious in giving out letters of no objection for protests, after rallies in Sha Tin and Sheung Shui descended into chaos. Protest planner Timothy Lee Hin-long, community officer of community group Synergy Kowloon, yesterday received from police a three-page questionnaire containing 20 questions about how the protest will be organized on July 27.

It is rare for police to demand written answers as the planning of rallies are usually discussed face-to-face between the organizer and police.

Civil Human Rights Front, a nongovernment organization that organizes frequent protests, has never been requested to answer written questions in the past few years, said vice convener Bonnie Leung Wing-man.

Lee said members of Synergy Kowloon met officers from the Police Public Relations Branch after submitting the application for a permit. "I sincerely appeal to police to issue the letter of no objection as any ban to forbid citizens from voicing their opinion will only trigger more vigorous response," he said.

Lee said the rally was organized by netizens, with community groups in To Kwa Wan and Hung Hom assisting them.

Preliminary plans start from the Hung Hom Ferry Pier Bus Terminus and end at Argyle Street Playground.

Lee expects 20,000 participants and the peaceful rally against nuisance brought by tourists will end by 11.59pm on July 27.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said cruise trips along the Victoria Harbour will depart at Runway Park Pier in Kai Tak from next week to alleviate the nuisance caused by tourists in communities.

Meanwhile, about 8,000 elderly held a silent march from Chater Garden in Central to government headquarters in Tamar yesterday afternoon.

They urged the government to respond to the five demands by the protests directly and held the slogan "Defending youngsters and safeguarding Hong Kong."

Lawmakers Junius Ho Kwan-yiu and Ann Chiang Lai-wan wrote to Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung on Tuesday, urging him not to issue the letter of no objection to any community protests given that recent protesters had ended in violence.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

 

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