As the city marks the 19th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty, 100,000 people are expected to take part in the annual march today, organised by the Civil Human Rights Front.
The theme of the July 1 march will be a call for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down. The march will also protest against the electoral system which put Leung in office and “white elephant” projects that are controversial and costly.
The Civil Human Rights Front said protesters would march from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the government’s headquarters in Admiralty. The march starts at 3pm.
This year’s event will take on added significance with the rally being led by bookseller Lam Wing-kee. Lam made explosive revelations about his months-long detention on the mainland, raising questions about the government’s ability to protect Hong Kong people from the reach of mainland agents. Former prisoners of conscience – veteran journalist Ching Cheong and activist Lau Shan-ching – will join Lam in leading the march.
The disappearance of Causeway Bay booksellers won’t be a theme at the march, said Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, convener of Civil Human Rights Front. But Lam, Ching and Lau were invited to lead the march because they had spoken up for democracy, freedom and human rights, said Sham.
Apart from the traditional annual march, a separatist group called for a “black-mask protest” outside Beijing’s liaison office.