Police approve Kwun Tong rally after route change - RTHK
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Police approve Kwun Tong rally after route change

2019-08-22 HKT 17:02
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  • The organiser of Saturday's march in Kwun Tong, Ventus Lau, said the police approval only came after he "bowed to authority" by changing the planned route. Photo: RTHK
    The organiser of Saturday's march in Kwun Tong, Ventus Lau, said the police approval only came after he "bowed to authority" by changing the planned route. Photo: RTHK
The police have approved an anti-extradition march in Kwun Tong on Saturday after organisers made major changes to the planned route.

Activist Ventus Lau said the original proposal to start the rally at the Tsun Yip Street Playground and end it outside the Kwun Tong Swimming Pool – which is located across the street from the district’s police station – was rejected because officers said traffic would be seriously disrupted.

The Kwun Tong Police station has previously been a target of brick-throwing protesters.

Lau said the force only green-lighted the march after the proposed route was changed so that protesters would go in the opposite direction, and end the rally around three kilometres away outside the Zero Carbon Building in Kowloon Bay.

The localist said the police approval does not indicate that the government is adopting a more lenient approach after having rejected multiple protest applications recently, saying the letter of no objection was only issued after he “bowed to authority”.

The march is scheduled to start at 1pm and end at 7.30pm.

Lau said the march is also aimed at voicing people’s concerns over the installation of several dozen “smart lampposts” in Kwun Tong.

Some people say they’re worried the new tech could be used to collect the personal data of passersby.

However, the government has repeatedly denied this. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer’s has said the new lampposts do not have any facial recognition functions, and cannot detect or read information on identity cards.

Meanwhile, there are also online calls for people to block traffic to the airport on Saturday morning, in what protesters have dubbed as the “Stuck with you” campaign.

Separately, a pro-government group, Politihk Social Strategy, says it is mobilising some ten thousand people to surround RTHK’s Kowloon Tong headquarters to protest the broadcaster’s production of what it says are “biased programmes compiled with taxpayers money”.