A banned demonstration and protesters expected in mass. The main anti-government demonstration on Saturday, August 31, in Hong Kong has been banned by local authorities, but they expect again a mass rally in the semi-autonomous territory on the fifth anniversary of Beijing's decision to limit democratic reforms.
The Civic Front for Human Rights, the cause of the big demonstrations in June that brought together several million people, canceled the demonstration scheduled for Saturday after not receiving the appropriate authorization.
But the ban on rallies by local authorities has so far not prevented protestors from protesting. "We expect people to be on the street," a senior police official said at a news conference.
"We will see how the protesters will act," he said. "If they come together peacefully, the police will take proportionate measures to avoid any major confrontation.If they resort to violence, the police will have to act proportionally to end the violence."
Hong Kong police on Friday arrested a number of activists, including Joshua Wong, a figure in the Umbrella Movement who paralyzed the former British colony in 2014.
Born in April of the rejection of a bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects to Mainland China, the protest movement has broadened to broader demands, including the protection of freedoms and autonomy enjoyed by the former British colony since its surrender to China in 1997.
The formula "one country, two systems" threatened
Many Hong Kongese believe that this particular system, summarized by the formula "one country, two systems", is today threatened by the growing influence exercised by the Chinese central government.
The challenge, which also weighs on the economic activity of the territory, is an unprecedented challenge for Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office in 2012.
Beijing, which accuses some foreign powers - in the first place the United States - of being the instigators of the protest movement, warned that it could intervene to end the crisis in Hong Kong if necessary.
The official Chinese press warned on Friday that Chinese soldiers stationed in the special administrative region did not have a symbolic presence and would have "no reason to sit idly by" if the situation worsened.