The United Nations’ human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said this week that there was evidence that the Hong Kong police had violated international standards for the use of less-lethal weapons such as tear gas. In a statement, she urged the authorities to act with restraint.
A march planned for Saturday afternoon, in the residential district of Hung Hom, is meant to draw attention to the influx of tour groups from mainland China coming through the neighborhood, one of the event’s organizers, Timothy Lee, told the local news media. Some demonstrators see the rise in visitors from the mainland as one aspect of China’s growing dominance in Hong Kong, a former British colony that has been a semiautonomous territory since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.
Opponents of the protest movement were planning their own demonstration on Saturday afternoon in support of the government.
An animal-protection group had organized a rally for Saturday evening, to call on the police to stop sending police dogs to protest scenes, and to stop using tear gas in residential areas where they could cause discomfort to pets and other animals nearby. But organizers said Saturday morning that the march was canceled.
On Sunday, protest leaders hope for a large turnout at a rally in Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district. They had applied for a permit to march from the park to Central, essentially the same route taken in two enormous marches against the extradition bill in June, but the police denied them permission. Organizers have appealed that decision, saying that it puts people in danger because many are likely to march regardless.
On Friday evening, thousands of people gathered in Central for a rally, which was peaceful and largely over by 10 p.m.
Surrounded by some of Hong Kong’s iconic skyscrapers, the crowd watched a video message from Brian Leung, a protester known for deliberately removing his mask to show his face after he and others stormed the local legislature’s building in July. He has since left Hong Kong and faces possible arrest if he returns.
“Uncertainty surely abounds when it comes to my future,” Mr. Leung said. “I would still put the movement over my safety.”
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