The Hong Kong government has appealed to citizens to express their views peacefully as the organiser of some of the biggest mass rallies seen in the city gears up for another major march on Sunday.
The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) – which organised rallies against the now-withdrawn extradition bill in June, bringing over a million people on to the streets on two successive weekends – has called a march from Victoria Part to Chater Road in Central to mark Human Rights Day.
Since the current anti-government protests flared up, most mass rallies have ended with violent clashes between protesters and police over the last six months. As a result, police denied permission to several applications in recent weeks citing the likelihood of more clashes.
Sunday's march is the first CHRF demonstration to receive police approval since August 18.
In a statement issued on Saturday, a government spokesman said the administration has learned its lesson from the extradition bill saga and would humbly listen to and accept criticism.
He said it’s hoped that the community can work with the government to restore order in society as soon as possible for Hong Kong to move forward.
Police also sent out SMS messages on Saturday, warning of Sunday’s event and telling people to take care and check police updates.
The police commissioner said in Beijing that his officers would adopt a flexible attitude towards minor infringements like people straying on to the roads, but will tackle violent actions like throwing petrol bombs with tough measures.
Speaking on Friday, the event organisers said they expect a mass turnout on the back of large scale participation in district council two weeks ago when nearly three million residents cast their votes.
Hong Kong set for mass rally, govt appeals for calm
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