Protesters demand border closure 'to save HK' - RTHK
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Protesters demand border closure 'to save HK'

2020-02-03 HKT 14:00
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  • Protesters demand border closure 'to save HK'
  • Protesters copy a recent Danish newspaper cartoon for one of their posters. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters copy a recent Danish newspaper cartoon for one of their posters. Photo: RTHK
  • Police observed the protesters in Exchange Square. Photo: RTHK
    Police observed the protesters in Exchange Square. Photo: RTHK
Dozens of people joined a protest in Central on Monday lunchtime, demanding the authorities immediately close the border to all arrivals from the mainland.

The crowd wearing surgical masks gathered in and around the IFC mall, singing the extradition bill movement anthem "Glory to Hong Kong" and chanting "close the border, say no to China".

One 10-year-old boy who took part in the demonstration held up a poster saying "Save Hong Kong, ban all travellers from China".

"I came alone, my parents know, but they are okay with me coming out. I don’t mind getting arrested, that’s expected when you stand up for freedom", he said.

Older demonstrators held up a banner which read "Close borders, contain epidemics".

Several police officers, wearing normal uniforms rather than riot gear, observed the protest from a short distance away.

After a while, the police warned the crowd that they were suspected of taking part in an unlawful assembly. Most of the protesters then dispersed, with just a smaller group remaining to heckle the officers and chant further slogans.

One officer filmed the remaining protesters, and another pulled out a can of pepper spray at one point, although it wasn't used.

The demonstration came as hundreds of Hospital Authority staff went on strike to try to pressure the government into closing the border.

Lawmakers from both the pro-democracy and pro-establishment camps have made similar calls, saying barring arrivals from the mainland could be the only way to stop a widespread community outbreak of the Wuhan virus in Hong Kong.