Rights group swaps march for van protest - RTHK
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Rights group swaps march for van protest

2021-01-01 HKT 17:02
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  • Rights group swaps march for van protest
The Civil Human Rights Front has swapped its annual New Year's Day march for a mobile protest featuring a van and a loudhailer.

The group set off from the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre and travelled around the SAR chanting protest slogans, including demands for the release of imprisoned activists, as well as the five demands of the 2019 anti-extradition movement.

The New Year's Day march a year ago was the last major street protest granted permission by the police before social distancing rules were introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Scores of police attended the start of Friday's protest, warning the three campaigners gathered atop the van that they were breaching a ban on gatherings of more than two.

The group's deputy convenor, Sam Yip, countered that the truck should not be covered by the rules as it is a vehicle for transportation, as well as an enclosed private premises that cannot be freely entered.

No fines were issued.

Yip said the group saw no chance of being granted permission for a street protest, so came up with the van drive as an alternative.

Group convenor Figo Chan said: "In this coming year, perhaps we will still be allowed no freedom, no election, no protest, no assembly.

"Perhaps many of our friends will go into jail. But as long as Hongkongers continue to voice out, and come back out at important moments, I believe we will get our freedom and democracy back."

The pair were joined by former lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China.

The truck will pass Polytechnic University, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway before arriving at the Legislative Council Complex later on Friday, according to Chan.