Appeal board upholds police ban on July 1 march

The Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions on Tuesday upheld a police ban on a march on July 1, citing infection risks posed by Covid-19.

The League of Social Democrats, Tin Shui Wai Connection and Save Lantau Alliance wanted to march from Victoria Park to the government’s headquarters in Admiralty.

The appeal board said the police ban was reasonable, as a mutated strain of coronavirus is causing outbreaks in nearby countries and regions and Hong Kong’s vaccination rate remains low.

The board said the infection risks would be high, considering the number of participants expected to join the march which could last for hours.

Speaking after the hearing, members of the League of Social Democrats said they would instead petition at the flag raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai on Thursday morning and set up street booths to promote their cause.

“Because for a long time, in many years, we have been doing the same thing on July 1, and nothing happened. As far as I remember, there was no police intervention or arrest. Why should there be any difference?” Chan Po-ying from the League of Social Democrats said.

The police warned the public not to gather at Victoria Park on that day.

“The police appeal to members of the public not to participate in any unauthorised assembly or prohibited group gatherings, not to advertise or publicise any unauthorised assembly or prohibited gatherings in any other manner,” said Chief Superintendent Steve Cheung.

“Police adopt a zero-tolerance approach to any illegal acts, and take absolute enforcement actions.”

The Civil Human Rights Front, which had organised the march in the past, did not apply for permission to hold the protest this year.
Last updated: 2021-06-29 HKT 22:09