Leung Chun-ying

Anti-CY protests planned for New Year's Day spark chaos fears

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 December, 2012, 5:15am

Protesters in Causeway Bay next Tuesday to urge Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down might find themselves confused as two separate marches - with the same theme - will be held within half an hour of each other.

The Civil Human Rights Front, the organiser of one of the protests, will begin its march from Victoria Park at 3pm, while the newly formed Anti-CY Alliance, the organiser of the other protest, said yesterday that it would start its rally outside the Central Library at 2.30pm.

The Alliance comprises radicals from the pan-democratic camp, including members of People Power and the League of Social Democrats.

Because the starting points of the two protests - separated by Causeway Road - are only a two-minute walking distance apart, the Front said it feared the arrangement would cause chaos and affect the rallies' turnout.

The Front convenor, Jackie Hung Ling-yu, blamed the police, who handled the protest applications, for the potential chaos. "The police arrangement is ridiculous," she said.

"The two protests would likely overlap in their routes. So the participants would not know which one they are joining," said Hung. "Ultimately, it might … reduce the turnout."

Hung said the Front's march is expected to draw about 50,000 protesters. She said they would set off from Victoria Park for the government headquarters at Tamar in Admiralty.

The Alliance's march, on the other hand, expects a turnout of about 10,000, said the group's spokesman, People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip. The protest would head to Government House at Upper Albert Road in the Mid-Levels, he said.

Chan said the police had allowed the rally to last until 9pm, but that the group would encourage protesters to remain "until Leung agrees to step down".

Aside from the two New Year's Day protests, another group has also planned a march - but in support of the government. Pro-Leung group, Caring Hong Kong Power, will stage its rally two days ahead of the anti-Leung protests.

Another group, organised on Facebook, has launched an online campaign over the weekend, aiming to obtain more than 12,000 signatures in a show of their support for Leung. A spokesman from the group said the public should move on from Leung's illegal structures saga and allow him to focus on livelihood issues instead.