Takeoff for rallies against violence

Top News | Cindy Wan 19 Jul 2019

The pro-establishment camp will organize rallies to support the restoration of order starting tomorrow, while the pro-democracy camp plans to drum up support for an independent inquiry.

The rally to "safeguard Hong Kong" at 5pm tomorrow will be the first in a series of anti-violent activities, says a member of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Kennedy Wong Ying-ho.

Wong, one of the co-organizers of the rally, said the theme will be in stark contrast to the violent clashes and aims to restore peace in society and support police enforcement. Those taking part are encouraged not to wear face masks or helmets, he said.

Another rally organizer, Stanley Ng Chau-pei, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, criticized the protesters for "losing their humanity" when assaulting police and storming the Legislative Council building.

"Citizens who love Hong Kong dearly can't remain silent anymore. Say no to the thugs!" he said.

Meanwhile, pro-government lawmaker Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan called on police to stop approving demonstrations for a while.

Speaking on a radio program yesterday, Chan supported the idea of suspending the issuing of letters of no objection for one to two weeks so that people can take a break from protests and allow the tense atmosphere to settle.

"We can all take a week to rest and talk," she said. "When there is no time to take a break and the clashes continue to happen, it will only lead to one result - bloodshed."

Police should consider whether they can handle the clashes that usually occur after a peaceful rally, she said. "I really don't want to see any casualty," she added.

Chan said some pro-democracy lawmakers provoked the cops and obstructed clearances as they kept requesting to see the commanders between the officers and the protesters.

Police, consequently, were forced to handle the clashes, the press and the pro-democracy lawmakers at the same time, she said.

Chan agreed there is a need for an independent inquiry of commission to investigate the clashes.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union has written to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, calling her to make practical responses to the protests and formally withdraw the bill before it is too late.

"The social climate is reaching a very dangerous stage. Society will enter into an irreversible condition if the situation continues to worsen," it said.

Professional Commons lawmakers also issued an urgent appeal to Lam, urging her to withdraw the bill completely and establish an independent inquiry.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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