Organisers of a rally planned in Central on Sunday afternoon have warned participants they won't be attending a "carnival" and they should expect trouble from the police, even though the demonstration has been given the force's approval.
"Given past experience, no matter how hard we try to protect our participants and no matter how many marshals we have, we still can't control the actions of the riot police. They are losing control and losing their minds," said Ventus Lau, from the group Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team.
Lau told RTHK's Joanne Wong that even at the most peaceful rallies, riot police stop people and search them "without a clear reason".
"Any participants who are planning to join any protests in the upcoming year, you must be prepared that you may be stopped and searched by the police or you may face clashes between the police and the citizens. Don't think you are joining a carnival. You are coming out for a protest. You are coming out to fight against the government's brutality," he said.
The rally is to call on various countries to impose sanctions against any officials who damage human rights in the SAR.
Police have given permission for the assembly in Chater Garden and Chater Road between 2pm and 10pm. They earlier turned down the group's request for a march from Central to Causeway Bay, citing fears of violence.
The force also said it had recently made seizures of guns and explosives, which indicated an additional risk factor.