Protests against national anthem law in Hong Kong planned

  • There have been calls online for protesters to slow down traffic in a non-cooperation movement and to surround Legco to prevent a second reading of the bill
  • The proposed bill would penalise anyone for misusing or insulting ‘March of the Volunteers’ with a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years in jail
Wong Tsui-kai |

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Water cannon trucks arrive as clashes break out between riot police and protesterers in Central. Anti-government protest descends into chaos in Central after police asked organisers to end the rally early. 19JAN20 Felix Wong / SCMP

Protests are expected to erupt around Hong Kong in an attempt to stop the second reading of an unpopular national anthem law in the Legislative Council on Wednesday. The law would penalise anyone for misusing or insulting March of the Volunteers with a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years in prison.

There have been numerous calls online for traffic slowdowns, mass protests outside the legislature to stop lawmakers from voting , and even a general strike. Some have called for protesters to disrupt traffic on main roads and in the cross-harbour tunnels starting at 5.30 am.

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The non-cooperation movement is a continuation of the civil unrest which started in June last year after the government attempted to push the extradition bill through Legco. It coincides with the first day back at school for some secondary students amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Police sources have told the South China Morning Post that security will be strengthened around Legco and other key areas such as government headquarters and the central government’s liaison office. Tow trucks will also be on standby to haul away protest cars that are driving too slowly.

They will also deploy around 3,000 and two water cannon trucks, and intervene early to stop any large crowds from gathering.