HK extradition bill: Weekend rallies planned for the airport, Yuen Long, Lingnan University and Central

While two marches still await letters of no objection from the police, Yuen Long rally organiser says protest will go on, though law enforcement has refused to grant a permit

Joanne Ma |

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Chung Kin-ping, organiser of the march in Yuen Long, won’t give up despite police’s refusal to give him a permit.

Four more protests have been planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as part of the wave of mass rallies stemming from the public’s resentment against the extradition bill.

A peaceful protest is due to be staged at Hong Kong International Airport’s Terminal One arrival hall on Friday. As of 5.30pm on Thursday, the organiser was still awaiting a letter of no objection from the police.

One of the participating parties, the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants’ Union, published an open letter to the aviation industry on Tuesday, saying, “We shall put our utmost efforts to ensure Hong Kong can continue to be a place … which is welcomed and treasured by the general public and tourists.”

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The letter pointed out that the government’s handling of the extradition bill and the violent attacks on civilians in Yuen Long MTR station had greatly disappointed Hong Kong citizens.

“We deeply regret the incapability of our Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her team that only play tricks to fool the people … We aim to … tell the people from all over the world what has been happening in Hong Kong.”

There are also plans to hold a march in Yuen Long on Saturday to show people’s opposition to the violent attacks last Sunday, although the police have rejected the organiser’s application for a permit due to public safety concerns.

The rally is set to start at 3pm at Shui Pin Tsuen Playground, pass through Castle Peak Road and Long Yat Road, and finish at Yuen Long MTR station. This will be followed by a peaceful gathering at the station. Chung Kin-ping, a Yuen Long resident and organiser of the demonstration, said on Wednesday that regardless of the police not issuing a letter of no objection, the march would go on. “Even if I were the only participant, this march would continue,” Chung added.

He also said he advocated a “peaceful, rational and non-violent” protest, but he told a radio programme on Wednesday that he was worried it could get out of control.

Meanwhile, Yoho Mall’s owner and Hong Kong’s largest property developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties, is hiring extra security guards, training its staff and setting up “safe spaces” in its shopping centre ahead of Saturday’s protest in Yuen Long.

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Lingnan University Students’ Union has organised a “Homecoming Day” to be held at the university from 11am to 2pm on Saturday. In a statement released on Wednesday, the union condemned the university’s council member Junius Ho Kwan-yiu’s insensitive remarks about the attacks in Yuen Long. It hoped the university would dismiss Ho, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, from his post.

On Sunday, a rally is planned in Central and Sheung Wan to protest last Sunday’s police shooting, without warning, in Sheung Wan, the same night that violence broke out in Yuen Long.

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The crowd will gather at 3pm at Chater Garden, Central, and finish their march at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, in Sai Ying Pun.

Last Sunday, after a march organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, crowds went beyond the original end point at Wan Chai and on to Queensway and Central. Another group of protesters headed towards Beijing’s liaison office in Sheung Wan.

That night, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. The number of injuries is unknown. On Thursday, the organiser, surnamed Lau, said he’s confident the police would grant him a letter of no objection.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne