A Hong Kong activist is facing five years in jail after pleading guilty to organising an unauthorised protest in 2019 against perceived police inaction over a mob attack at a railway station. Max Chung Kin-ping, 42, admitted the charge at the District Court on Monday in exchange for prosecutors dropping a similar charge related to participating in an illegal procession in Yuen Long on July 27, 2019. The march took place six days after more than 100 men clad in white assaulted protesters and commuters indiscriminately with rattan and wooden sticks at Yuen Long MTR station, leaving at least 45 people injured. Seven men who joined the mob attack have been jailed for up to seven years. All have lodged an appeal against their convictions, while prosecutors are seeking to overturn the acquittal of an eighth suspect. Key figure behind Yuen Long march arrested by Hong Kong police On Monday, the court heard that Chung had sought police permission for the 2019 rally, to “condemn the terrorist attack on the people in Yuen Long”. Police refused the request then, citing a risk of violent confrontations that might ensue. In a press conference on July 26 that year, Chung appeared to have called off the meeting, but said he would welcome anyone visiting the northwestern residential town for shopping or sightseeing. “Despite the prohibition by the police ... the defendant openly reiterated the route and appealed to the public to join the unauthorised assembly in the name of ‘shopping’ or ‘having fun’ in Yuen Long,” prosecutor Wilson Lam said. Nearly 300,000 people were believed to have shown up in Yuen Long the next day, with some marching along the route Chung initially proposed. Others blocked roads and confronted police at different locations by throwing hard objects and shining laser beams at officers. Lam said Chung had vilified police and instigated hatred among participants by claiming in multiple press interviews that only “terrorists receiving orders from the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government and police” would attack Hongkongers. “At the end of the day, the risks identified by the police did materialise as there were real and serious [violence], breach of peace, or riotous incidents [that] arose in the course of the unauthorised procession,” the prosecutor added. Chung was arrested one day after the event, but was only charged two years later. In August 2019, Chung was attacked by four men outside Yuen Long Police Station after the force extended his bail. The assailants are still on the loose. Hong Kong court rules six charged over Yuen Long attack have case to answer In Monday’s mitigation, defence counsel Candy Fong E-fong described Chung as a kind and peaceful person who had a track record of volunteering in animal protection campaigns. She said her client had organised the rally for a change for the better. “It was an attack by a large group of white-clad males, who indiscriminately and violently attacked railway passengers. Instead of rescue and law enforcement, it was very unfortunate that police turned their backs and walked away,” Fong said. The lawyer urged the court to accept that Chung, an amateur in political activism, was either naive in underestimating his influence or emotional in the aftermath of the mob attack that he decided to snub the police ban and go ahead with the march. Judge Amanda Woodcock will sentence Chung on Wednesday.