Protesters fear there could be chaos during Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s next meet-the-people session on Sunday.
Their increased concern comes amid accusations by the Civic Party and others that Leung has links to triad groups – an allegation his office strenuously denies – and due to a lack of public space around the meeting venue.
The police have also been accused of a pro-government bias in their allegedly lenient treatment of suspected triads in clashes between pro-government and pro-democracy crowds at Leung’s first public meeting last Sunday, and the force is likely to be tested at this Sunday’s event.
Pan-democrats planning a “silent protest” tomorrow said the pavements around the meeting venue, Kwun Tong Kung Lok Government Secondary School, were too narrow to accommodate protesters from all camps.
Police were stepping up security and surveillance inside and outside the school yesterday, installing CCTV cameras on its upper floors and on the rooftop of a building opposite, and readying more than 200 iron barriers and rolls of wire netting.
A police spokesman said the cameras were not for recording.
League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen, who co-ordinated the “standing man” campaign, said some participants will be assigned to picket on Sunday.
“The space will definitely be crammed,” said Ng, referring to the uphill, barrier-less pavement outside the school. “If any clash happens, the crowd could easily spill onto the main road, which would be very dangerous.”
Participants in the “standing man” protest will wear white and stand silently outside the venue. Major pan-democratic parties will take part on Sunday. The Labour Party, People Power and Civic Passion will also protest.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said party members would not scramble for any of the 280 tickets when they are handed out at the Kwun Tong District Office Public Enquiry Service Centre at 9am on Sunday.
“We expect the pro-government groups in the district will mobilise elderly people to pack out the audience,” said Leong.
Leung will take leave from Monday until August 29, making the event the last this month.
Leung yesterday updated his official blog, asking participants on Sunday to “observe the rules and order of civilised society”.
Separately, Horace Chin Wan-kan, an assistant professor of Chinese language at Lingnan University, yesterday launched an online petition to the White House, urging the US government to “save a primary school teacher in Hong Kong from political persecution”.
The petition concerns Alpais Lam Wai-sze, who was filmed swearing at police officers over their handling of a dispute between Falun Gong activists and their opponents in July.
The petition requires 100,000 online signatures within a month to prompt a response. Last night it had more than 3,100 signatures.