Pro-democracy leaders called on Hong Kong’s citizens to join a Sunday anti-government march in spite of the risk of arrest, after police banned the rally which is seen as a test of the protest movement’s strength following months of unrest.
Police declared the march illegal on Friday, citing concerns over public safety, and a court on Saturday said the destination of the march – the main railway interchange with mainland China – could be attacked and vandalized.
Hardcore protesters have in recent weeks targeted mainland Chinese businesses, daubing them in graffiti and at times setting fires, while mainland Chinese living in Hong Kong have begun to express fears for their own safety.
“We urge the Hong Kong people to … assemble peacefully, march peacefully, in order to show the whole world we are still eager for the five demands,” campaigner Leung Kwok-hung said on Saturday, vowing the demonstration would go ahead.
The demands include universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into police action against protesters, amnesty for those charged, and an end to describing protesters as rioters.