Hong Kong Protests Start Early on Handover Anniversary, March Scheduled For Afternoon

By Frank Fang

Protesters against the expanding power of the Chinese regime in Hong Kong and the recent extradition bill from the government began to gather near government headquarters in Admiralty at around 4 a.m. local time on July 1, according to Hong Kong media.

The day is marks the anniversary of Hong Kong being handed back by the United Kingdom to China under the Chinese Communist Party in 1997.

By 6 a.m. local time, the number of protesters gathered at Admiralty’s Lung Hop Street that leads to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) building holding umbrellas numbered close to 100, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, around 200 people had gathered nearby at Harcourt Road by 7 a.m. local time, with police in riot gear seen close by. Just weeks earlier, hundred of thousands of protesters had gathered on Harcourt Rd to request the government withdraw its extradition bill from debate and voting by the pro-Beijing majority LegCo.

Hong Kong media reported on July 1 that Hong Kong lawmaker Jeremy Tam, a member of the pro-democracy Civic Party, was on site with the morning protesters.

HK July 1
A protester waves a “Black Bauhinia” flag as others set up barricades at Lung Wo road outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong before the flag raising ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of handover to China early on July 1, 2019. (VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP/Getty Images)

Some protesters yelled the slogan “Return us Golden Bauhinia Square,” while others waved “Black Bauhinia” flags. The Bauhinia, or Hong Kong Orchid Tree, became the emblem of Hong Kong when it was still a British colony.

Around 7:00 a.m., it was reported that Hong Kong metro authorities shut down two metro stations: Wan Chai and Admiralty, preventing more protesters from traveling to join the protesters. It is not known for how long the shutdown will last.

Carrie Lam Hong Kong July 1
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (front L) attends the annual flag raising ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)

A flag-raising ceremony was held around 8 a.m. local time at Golden Bauhinia Square, which was attended by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. A banquet to celebrate the handover was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is located at the Square, and the event ended at around 8:15 a.m. local time.

At Harcourt Road, local police reportedly used pepper spray to disperse protesters at around 7:30 a.m. local time.

Some of the protesters gathered at Citic Tower and an ambulance was called to assist an injured protester. It is not known how the protester got injured. HK01 reported that Democractic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong assisted in calling the ambulance.

HK protests
Protesters set up barricades at Lung Wo road outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong before the flag raising ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of handover to China early on July 1, 2019. (VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP/Getty Images)

HK01 reported that some protesters also gathered on Lung Wu Road right outside the LegCo building.

NTD Television will broadcast the July 1 march live beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.

From The Epoch Times