The official protest march called for today may have been cancelled — after police refused permission — but that has not deterred thousands of people from taking to the streets in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district.
Police earlier warned those taking part that this is an “unauthorised assembly,” and said they should “stop their illegal acts immediately.” The march has so been peaceful, but authorities are on standby, with riot police positioned along the route.
Protesters are currently marching along the original demonstration route as planned by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which previously arranged mass rallies attended by hundreds of thousands against the now shelved extradition bill. That route will take them to Chater Garden in Central.
Some protesters carried United States flags, an attempt to draw Washington’s attention to calls for the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which its co-sponsor, Senator Marco Rubio, has described as an effort “hold China to its promise to the world in a legally-binding treaty with Britain that it will fully respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.”
Earlier today, protesters called on the British Consulate in Hong Kong, where they presented diplomats with a letter demanding London speak out on behalf of its former colony.