Hong Kong (AP) - Shortly before the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong's authorities have finally banned a major protest march and arrested several activists.
As the protest union Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) announced on Monday, a protest against the ban on Tuesday's planned march was rejected. In addition, local media reported the arrest of some prominent activists, including Ventus Lau and actor Gregory Wong.
The determination of the two activists is an attempt to deter other protesters, said Bonnie Leung of the CHRF. But this tactic will not work. "People in Hong Kong have previously shown they will not give up," Leung said.
In addition to the now forbidden march, the democracy movement has planned further protests on 1 October, the founding day of the People's Republic. While a big military parade is scheduled to take place in Beijing on the occasion of the holiday, observers expect Hong Kong to face new clashes. Concerned about riots, the government has canceled its own celebrations and canceled fireworks at the port. But a flag ceremony is planned.
Weekend protests in Hong Kong again saw serious clashes between police and protesters. Protesters call for an independent investigation into police violence in the five-month protests, an amnesty of the more than 1,500 people arrested so far, a withdrawal of their protests as "riots" and free elections.
Since its return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed autonomously by its own constitution. The seven million Hong Kong residents are under China's sovereignty, but unlike the people of the Communist People's Republic, they enjoy more rights such as freedom of expression and assembly, which they now fear.