26th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) A group of residents in Tseung Kwan O protested against the government’s plan for reclamation in the district. Less than a hundred people gathered for an authorised march to raise concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts of the facilities, including air pollution and hazardous waste, that will be built in Area 132 of Tseung Kwan O. The reclamation aims to make space for public facilities such as a refuse treatment plant and a cement plant. The limited participation in the authorised march was likely due to rainy weather conditions and the ongoing pandemic.
The protest was organised by the “Metro Town Owners Committee” and marked the first non-charitable or promotional march since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions earlier this month. However, a demonstration scheduled for 5th March by the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association was canceled despite obtaining a letter of no objection from the police, highlighting the challenges faced by activists and protesters in Hong Kong.
Before the march began at 11.35am, a large number of police officers were stationed around the starting point and along the route to ensure the safety of the protesters. The participants of the march held banners with slogans such as “Oppose the Reclamation of Tseung Kwan O” and chanted slogans like “Oppose the waste treatment plant” and “Demand that the government listen to public opinion.”
The police asked participants to wait within the designated area while wearing identification badges, which were handed out by the organiser before the march. Journalists were allowed to interview the protesters within the designated area, but the organiser warned them to leave if they went beyond the police cordon. The organiser were satisfied with the level of participation and hoped that the peaceful protest would demonstrate the ability of Hong Kong society to express their opinions without violence.
The organiser, expressed his appreciation for the participants and said that the strict measures taken by the police were necessary to ensure the safe and peaceful conduct of the march