Hong Kong: Thousands of police officers on the streets to prevent protests on China’s Day
Today China’s national day is celebrated. With the recent tensions and waves of protests that mark Hong Kong, numbers of intervention police have been deployed to prevent any large-scale pro-democracy demonstrations on the city streets.
There are about 6,000 police officers who have been mobilized for one occasion, a police source told the France-Press agency (AFP), double the number normally requested when competent authorities demonstrate.
October 1 is a cause for celebration in the communist country, celebrating the creation of the People’s Republic of China. However, in Hong Kong, it is also an opportunity to express the retreat in the freedom that Beijing has been submetric in the city.
A chief executive, Carrie Lam, and Chinese officials took part in an official celebration in the island’s determin center. Helicopters with Chinese and Hong Kong flags flew over the territory.
Last year, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong was the scene of violent clashes between protesters and police.
For security reasons and given the context in which the city finds itself, since the new national security law imposed by Beijing and the pandemic situation of Covid-19, all kinds of demonstrations have been banned.
Four members of a medical movement launched pro-democracy slogans near the research center where an official ceremony was held this morning.
Pro-democracy activists have called for “flash mob” rallies on social media.
In the morning, the police began searching vehicles that were driving through one of Hong Kong’s most important access tunnels.
At least five people were arrested this week on suspicion of having committed violent acts, Hong Kong police said.
More than 10,000 people have been detained for participating in protests in the past 16 months, along with several pro-democracy.
Joshua Wong, one of the best known faces of pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong, was arrested last Thursday for participating in a demonstration in 2019. The activist has since been released.
The mobilization was very strong until the end of last year with demonstrations that reached two million people.
But these thousands of arrests, and especially the arrival of the coronavirus, managed to stifle the movement earlier this year.
In June, Beijing’s response to protests that dragged on a year ago in Hong Kong came with the imposition of national security law in the Chinese special administrative region, which prompted activists to take refuge in the United Kingdom and Taiwan.
That law punishes subversive activities, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign frames with penalties that can go to life in prison.