• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 10:05am
July 1 march
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Organisers and police point fingers over slow progress of July 1 march

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 3:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 3:51pm

Organisers and police traded barbs over the slow progress of yesterday's march.

Police accused the Civil Human Rights Front of deliberately making slow progress and warned of possible legal action against the protest organiser, while the front said the police caused a bottleneck by not opening more lanes for the marchers.

While the march was largely peaceful, a high-profile student activist claimed he was pushed to the ground by a police officer, and a policeman was injured in scuffles.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung, of student group Scholarism, said he was pushed to the ground after asking why police were setting up barricades in Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay.

"I was asking them for an explanation peacefully and was not attempting to push the barricades over," said Wong, whose group was holding an overnight sit-in in Central. "But an officer ordered me to leave the demonstration zone immediately. He then pushed me in the chest and I fell to the ground."

Causeway Bay was a flashpoint in the largely peaceful march. At one point, protesters spilled through the police cordon and into the westbound carriageway close to Sogo. Only one lane was left for traffic.

At 6.40pm, a police officer suffered injuries to his head and midriff, he said, after being pushed to the ground by protesters.

A protester, 22, was arrested nearby for pushing over a barricade that hit a passing bus.

Senior Superintendent Leung Sai-kau, deputy district commander for Wan Chai, said organisers were at fault, and could face legal action for refusing to comply with police instructions.

"The organiser's car that was supposed to head the procession was progressing very slowly and at times it came to a halt. We repeatedly asked the [marchers] to keep moving but we were ignored," Leung said. "The police expressed extreme disappointment with the uncooperative attitude of the organiser."

But front convenor Johnson Yeung Ching-yin blamed the police decision not to close all six lanes of Hennessy Road to traffic to fit in more marchers.

Police ruled out opening all the lanes last week, despite being urged by the Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions to make a call on the day.

Instead, protesters had only the three eastbound lanes and partial use of the tram line.

"The police are more interested in pointing fingers than fixing the problem," Yeung said. He said those at the front of the procession stopped because otherwise those at the back would have had no chance of catching up.

"The police simply disrespected the people," he added.

Observers from the Independent Police Complaints Council praised the professionalism of the police, and the marchers for sticking to the law. But the body's new chairman, Larry Kwok Lam-kwong, said "a review may be needed" of how crowd flow could be improved.

Leung said opening more lanes would seriously affect emergency services, public transport and other road users.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
9

This article is now closed to comments

Comrade Crunch
This protest is a joke IMO. HK is way better under Chinese rule than it was under the Brits.
Protests like these will get us nowhere and just end up making HK move backwards.
captam
@Joshua Wong Chi-fung "an officer ordered me to leave the demonstration zone immediately. He then pushed me in the chest and I fell to the ground."
Wong would make a very good World Cup footballer !
Did this "fall" (dive) to the ground happen inside the penalty box?
Dai Muff
"At 6.40pm, a police officer suffered injuries to his head and midriff, he said, after being pushed to the ground by protesters."
Selective aren't you?
Dai Muff
Don't take part then Comrade. Luckily, the rest of us still have the freedom to do so. For now.
ann.wei.121
Due to the inability of the crowd to move forward, people waiting in the Park could not leave, and people will be unable to enter the Park, this is why the Police always uses the number of people " leaving " the park for announcement, this is the dirty tactics used by the Police once the turnout is expected to be high.
chuchu59
So the Police says the organizers were making slow progress. Well folks, a new type of filibustering has just emerged.
5381759a-6c88-46c2-b3cf-52a60a3209cb
Are you?
tomonday
pointing fingers?? i'll fu&&ing punch the s h i t out of you
jerrychanson
There is another example that SCMP is in favour of the so-called pro-democratic.
"Police ruled out opening all the lanes last week, despite being urged by the Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions to make a call on the day". Yes, the Appeal Board did urged police to consider to open all six lanes, however, the decision NOT to open all six lanes was also supported by the Appeal Board.
Why this newspaper only reported part of the story? Should a reporter be impartial?

Login

SCMP.com Account

or