1st July 2020 – (Hong Kong) The National People’s Congress passed the draft “National Security Act of the Hong Kong SAR” yesterday which was gazetted at 11 pm. Some netizens and organizations including League of Social Democrats, Jimmy Lai, Legislative Councillors Lam Cheuk-ting and Lee Wing-tat, and former chairman of Democratic Party, Albert Ho took advantage of today’s (July 1) 23rd anniversary of the return of Hong Kong and gathered near East Point Road, Causeway Bay before marching to Chater Road, Central.
The police have earlier expressed their opposition to the holding of rallies and processions on Hong Kong Island today. At about 9am this morning, a number of riot police officers were stationed outside the Liaison Office of the CPC Central Committee. At 10am, water cannon vehicle and armoured vehicle were on alert.
By noon, demonstrators began to gather at the scene, and some people waved the American flag. At about 1 pm, more than 200 people gathered outside SOGO in Causeway Bay. Police hoisted a blue and the new purple flag to warn those present. During this period, Andrew Wan, a member of the Legislative Council used a megaphone to speak loudly. The police warned him before pepper-spraying him and manhandled him to the ground. Legislative Councillor Lam Cheuk-ting was also requested to leave the scene and he refused. During the commotion, a police officer was sprayed with pepper spray.
Some protesters also gathered in the vicinity of East Point Road in Causeway Bay and chanted “Hong Kong independence, the only way out”, a slogan suspected to be inciting or abetting others to commit secession and may therefore violate the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law). Police raised the purple warning flag and issued repeated warnings to the crowd, clearly stating that chanting such slogan may constitute an offence under the National Security Law. Police request the crowd to stop all illegal acts, otherwise the persons involved may be arrested or prosecuted.
Political activist Lee Cheuk-yan was also arrested at 1.20pm. Another man who was carrying a Hong Kong Independence flag was also arrested for violation of the new National Security Law. He became the first man to be arrested under the new legislation.
At around 1:30 PM, some protesters at Causeway Bay started to occupy Hennessy Road, blocking multiple traffic lanes. Multiple vehicles travelling along the lanes were forced to halt abruptly. The Police are enforcing the law at the scene, instructing the crowd to return to the pavement, in order to restore order in road traffic as soon as possible. Meanwhile, given the huge crowd in the vicinity, Exits D1 and E of the Causeway Bay MTR station were temporarily closed.
Pepper spray was deployed again outside Goldmark Plaza on Hennessy Road at 2pm.
Percival Street, Jaffe Road, Patterson Street, East Point Road and Great George Street were also cordoned off by police.
At 2.58pm, many protesters were arrested on Great George Street including Jerlome Lau Ting-sing, Tam Tak-chi and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen.
At 3pm, water cannon was deployed from Causeway Bay towards Wan Chai on Hennessy Road. Some protesters scattered Hell bank notes everywhere on the road. The water cannon vehicle was again on spotted near Canal Road Flyover at 3.30pm.
At 3.18pm, police hoisted blue flag on Wan Chai Road. Police started to commence clearance from King’s Road towards Causeway Bay.
Some protesters set fire to objects on Hennessy Road, pepper spray and pepper projectiles were fired by police. There were protesters who were injured. Many of them retreated to Victoria Garden. There were also protesters who barricaded Causeway Road with umbrellas and objects. They hurled bricks and removed railings in Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai and Causeway Road, Causeway Bay. They also hurled potted plants and traffic cones, etc. onto the carriageway, paralysing the traffic.
Plastic tubes with nails were also found on Causeway Road this afternoon to paralyse traffic.
At around 4pm, police intercepted over 100 people on East Point Road. Around 30 people were also detained on Causeway Road.
Meanwhile, police also fired pepper projectiles near Canal Road Flyover. A police officer sustained injuries while trying to intercept a protester near the Central library. He was assaulted with brick and umbrella. His left hand was injured.
Crowds have been gathering and chanting slogans in the vicinity of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, breaching public peace. Some even dashed across the roads, blocked the lanes and set fire on barricades, obstructing traffic. As at 4pm, Police have arrested over 70 persons, including two for suspected violation of the National Security Law.
Tear gas rounds were fired near Lee Theatre Plaza at around 5.20pm. At 5.20pm, the glass panels of a Starbucks shop were shattered in Tin Hau. Blue flag was again hoisted. Some protesters were detained on Percival Street. At 4pm earlier, Maxim’s bakery on Percival Street was also vandalised. Petrol bomb and brick were hurled at the shop front. No one was injured.
At 5.30pm, water cannon vehicle was deployed on King’s Road near Tin Hau Station.
At 5.15pm, tear gas rounds were fired on Percival Street. Water cannon was also deployed on King’s Road in Tin Hau.
At 5.30pm, police arrested a total of 180 people, 3 men and 4 women violated the National Security Law while the rest were arrested for participating in illegal assembly, causing disorder in public places and possession of offensive weapons.