Thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong today to protest against the passing of an emergency law that will ban the use of masks by protesters as of Saturday.
Hong Kong citizens took to the streets of the city's central district wearing masks and shouting slogans like "Hong Kong, resist" to protest a law announced earlier today by the head of government Carrie Lam.
Carrie Lam announced today that as of Saturday, protesters will not be allowed to wear masks - a measure that is meant to help police "end violence and restore order."
The march caused traffic cuts and many stores were closed as tension grew after Lam's controversial announcement. The ban was passed under a colonial-era decree that gives broad powers to the city's chief executive without having to go through parliament.
Some people handed out masks to participants, arguing that this is "the last chance" to wear them.
The 'anti-mask law' allows for punishments of up to one year in jail and fines of up to HK$25,000 (just over €2,900).
Although Carrie Lam argued that the purpose of the law is to identify the most violent protesters and "does not imply that Hong Kong is in a state of emergency," many local residents fear that the government will eventually invoke the law to arrest protesters, censor the local press, amend laws, or take full control of the city's transport system.