Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners on Friday vowed to stage a major march at the weekend despite police ruling the rally illegal, setting the scene for possibly more unrest in the Chinese-ruled city, battered by months of violent protests, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Hong Kong has been relatively calm for the past week, with only small, often colorful demonstrations, and Sunday’s march will test the strength of the pro-democracy campaign, which has in the past rallied millions on to the streets.
In rejecting the protesters’ request for a march permit, police said past events had been “hijacked by a group of radical protesters” who set fire to buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police, detonated a home-made bomb and wrecked infrastructure.
“While we always respect citizens’ rights to assembly and freedom of speech, we are alarmed by this epidemic that radical protesters resort to violence in expressing their opinion,” Acting Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Kong Wing-cheung, said in announcing the rejection.
Thousands have defied police in the past and staged mass rallies, often peaceful at the start but becoming violent at night.
“We will not back down even after the attack on the Civil Human Rights Front convener Jimmy Sham. Our most powerful force is the unity and resistance of this civil society,” said the rights group, calling on the public to rally on Sunday.