Police require demonstrators to wear ID tags and provide valid reason for wearing masks at Tseung Kwan O protest tomorrow

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Insert Picture: Tik Chi-yuen. Number tag will be required to be worn by every participant tomorrow.

25th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) A demonstration is set to take place on Sunday in Tseung Kwan O, which has been organised by a homeowner committee of Metro Town. The group is protesting a reclamation plan and has been granted permission by the police, albeit with some unprecedented conditions. To ensure the demonstration remains peaceful and orderly, the police have requested that each participant wears a number tag around their neck. This is to ensure that no more than 100 individuals participate in the procession, and those wearing masks must provide proof of a “reasonable excuse” for doing so.

The demonstration’s organisers have stated that they are confident about the turnout, but once the 100-person quota has been reached, no more protesters will be allowed to join the gathering. The police have also requested that the organixers arrange labor for crowd management to ensure that no one can enter the demonstration halfway.

The police have justified their decision to ask participants to wear number tags, citing previous experiences where outlaws have infiltrated similar demonstrations, resulting in the disruption of public order and even violent activities. Chan Chin-chun, the convener of the concern group that filed for police approval, initially suggested putting stickers on participants’ clothing for identification, but the police eventually settled on the number tag system.

Chan recalled that the organiser would typically meet with the police two to three times before the demonstration in the past, but for Sunday’s protest, they met with the police up to seven times. Lawmaker Tik Chi-yuen from Third Side expressed concern that the police overreacted and that the number tag system was strange. Tik also feared that the requirement could change into real-name registration, and the police might seek retribution later on.

The participants will gather at the Tiu Keng Leng Sports Centre around 11am and march towards the south landing of the Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park, where they will stage an assembly. The event is expected to end around 1pm.