List of January 2020 Hong Kong protests

This is a list of January 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.

EventsEdit

1 January: New Year's DayEdit

 
Protesters crowded on 1 January

Hong Kong police fired tear gas in Mong Kok, as they continued to try and clear the streets of protesters who had set fires to roadblocks on Nathan Road. Armoured vehicles were seen clearing roadblocks set up by protesters using a variety of objects. The crowd also chanted "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our time" during the last few seconds of 2019.[1]

The march named "Stand shoulder to shoulder" was aimed at pressuring Carrie Lam and the government to accept protesters' demands. Thousands gathered filling up the lawn of Victoria Park, from where the organisers started the march 20 minutes ahead of the 3pm start. As people marched out of Victoria Park, more people were waiting to get in. High school students, families with children and elderly people had turned up to join the march. The marchers raised chants that have been raised by protesters for months, like "Five demands, not one less" and "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times".[2]

The Civil Human Rights Front said the police asked them to end the march after clashes broke out in Wan Chai. Officers soon began firing tear gas and pepper spray to disperse an angry crowd. The front said it immediately complied and asked people to leave. It said they received notice from police at 5.30pm, asking to end the rally by 6.15pm.[3]

Organisers claim over one million participated in the protest. Police said 60,000 people attended the march at its peak.

The CHRF said the police decision to end the march showed that the government is unwilling to listen to the voices of the people and is infringing on the right of assembly of Hong Kong residents. They warned that peace will not return to Hong Kong if police continue to adopt such methods.[4]

3 JanuaryEdit

 
Protesters gathered at Edinburgh Place

Thousands of teachers and other protesters gathered at Edinburgh Place at night to voice their opposition at what they call "white terror" from the government. Organised by the Professional Teachers' Union the rally comes after the Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said the PTU was misinformed and called on teachers not to be misled by them. Fung Wai-wah, the leader of the union, said "the government is making teachers scapegoats for the current social unrest".

Organisers say 20,000 people turned up at the peak of the rally.[5]

5 JanuaryEdit

Several hundred people began marching through Sheung Shui accusing the government and police of failing to take action against parallel trading in the district. The organiser said there would be about 100 marshals to maintain law and order also stating that it was unnecessary as the authorised event will be peaceful.[6] A stand-off then developed after the police told protesters to disperse as soon as they reached the endpoint. Police warned that they could be arrested for holding an illegal assembly.[7] Organisers claim a turnout of 10,000 people. Police say the crowd numbered 2,500 at its peak.[8]

8 JanuaryEdit

About 100 people gathered at a car park in Tseung Kwan O to pay tribute to Alex Chow Tsz-Lok, a student who had died two months earlier, to the day, of injuries from a fall in that car park while a police clearance operation had been conducted against a protest in the vicinity. They observed a minute's silence in memory of him. The mourners lit candles and placed flowers near the car park wall. Others displayed posters about the protests. Some masked protesters attempted to block a major intersection in the area. They pulled old cabinets and a sofa from a rubbish collection point nearby and tried to put them outside the PopCorn mall. Police sirens were heard, causing the protesters to flee back to the car park. The protesters later dug up bricks near the car park and scattered them on a nearby road. They also fled as soon as riot police arrived.[9]

Police were deployed to a "Lennon Wall" in Tsuen Wan overnight, as tensions flared between residents of the area and a group of people who had arrived to tear down protest-related posts and messages. They were carrying rods, high-power water cleaning guns and wall scrapers. Some residents who came out to confront them were chased off by the outsiders who were wielding the tools they had brought with them. Police arrived at around half past midnight to separate the two sides and those who had planned to rip down the Lennon Wall left the area.[10]

10 JanuaryEdit

Dozens of people protested chanting anti-government slogans and some protesters stomping on pictures of Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping, Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Police commissioner Chris Tang. Later police officers were seen scraping the pictures off the floor. Around 20 riot police officers were present but the protest ended without any confrontations. Some displayed placards calling for an independent probe into alleged police brutality and to disband the force immediately. When the riot police walked past, some insults were also hurled at them.[11]

12 JanuaryEdit

Hundreds of people staged a rally in Central calling on the international community to sanction the Hong Kong government - which they accuse of violating the basic human rights of residents. A number of protesters waved the flags of America, Japan and Britain, with some saying the US flag represents freedom and justice. One of the organisers of the rally, Ventus Lau, said he hopes overseas governments can follow in the footsteps of the US in passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to sanction SAR officials if authorities continue to ignore the five demands of the protesters. Lau also said "the Hong Kong government is capable of introducing full democracy right away by abolishing the functional constituencies in the Legco elections this year". If it doesn’t, he says the sanctions will be triggered and officials will face the strongest retribution.[12]

15 JanuaryEdit

Around 100 people held a rally at the Edinburgh Place, Central, to protest against the University of Hong Kong's (HKU) move to start proceedings against Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai that could see him fired. The law professor was released on bail pending appeal over his convictions of leading the pro-democracy movement in 2014. He was jailed in April 2019 for 16 months. Members of the rally many of them HKU graduates said "the university should not have set up the inquiry as it violates due process as Tai's appeal is before the courts".[13]

Counter demonstrationsEdit

On 12 January, dozens of people held a rally in Yuen Long to urge Hong Kong police to arrest Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting over what they claim is his role in a mob attack on protesters and passersby in the Yuen Long in July last year. Participants echoed accusations previously levelled against Lam by pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho and pro-police supporters that he had incited a group of black-clad rioters into Yuen Long. It is of note that Lam was among those who were hospitalised following the attack, sustaining a wound to his mouth that required 18 stitches. He said people pushing this false allegation has been distorting the truth, noting that security camera footage clearly shows that the white-clad mob of triads had been attacking people even before he arrived.[14]

On 18 January, around 50 people gathered outside Mong Kok Police Station presenting officers with noodles and snacks to express their gratitude to the force for its handling of anti-government protests. The group, calling themselves Hong Kong Force of Peace, shouted slogans praising officers’ loyalty and "courage" in stopping violence and restoring order.[15] Also, Outside Broadcasting House in Kowloon Tong on Saturday morning around 100 protesters from the pro-police group, Politihk Social Strategic protested against what they say is anti-government bias in RTHK's programmes. The demonstrators chanted slogans, calling RTHK a "cockroach radio station".[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hong Kong ushers in 2020 with tear gas, protests - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Tens of thousands march backing protesters - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Police order end to march after Wan Chai clashes - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Organisers say over 1mn took part, condemn police - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Teachers rally against government 'white terror' - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Anti-parallel trading march underway in Sheung Shui - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Stand-off develops in Sheung Shui as march ends - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Sheung Shui march organisers claim turnout of 10,000 - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Vigil for dead student evolves into street protest - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Police called out as groups clash over Lennon Wall - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Protesters vow to carry on noon demos in Central - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Rally calls for international sanctions on officials - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Protest held over HKU move against Benny Tai - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Rally held to demand Lam Cheuk-ting's arrest - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Pro-police group bring gifts of noodles for officers - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Protesters slam 'cockroach' broadcaster RTHK - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 18 January 2020.