Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union is holding a teachers’ march in solidarity with young anti-extradition protesters this morning. The theme for the rally is “Protect our Next Generation, Speak for our Conscience,” and will start from Chater Garden at 11.30am, and is set to end at the Government House.
The Union was granted a letter of no objection from the police.
Later in the afternoon from 5pm to 6.30pm, pro-government supporters will gather at Tamar Park in Admiralty for an “Anti-Violence, Save Hong Kong” rally organised by Safeguard Hong Kong, an alliance which supports the amendment of the proposed extradition bill. Young Post will be live-reporting for these events.
Meanwhile, some citizens will take to the streets today at 4pm to protest against mainland tour groups, illegal bus parking and incompetent legislators in the Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan districts. A rally planned by animal rights group Animalsaver HK to protest against the misuse of tear gas, which has caused suffering to police dogs, has been postponed.
Our live coverage of today's events has ended. Thank you for following along!
[UPDATE: August 17 - 6.48pm]
[UPDATE: August 17 - 6.38pm]
Hong and Wang, both 21, are journalism students from Dongguan. Hong said that most of the news on the mainland is one-sided. He said news is depicted as if the protesters are very violent and aggressive and that it’s very pro-police.
Information for today’s rally was posted on Weibo, but there isn’t any information on Chinese social media channels for tomorrow’s march.
“The public opinion on social media is that what the police is doing is completely correct,” says Hong. This is their first time attending a rally in Hong Kong in relation to the extradition bill.
Hong added that some people on social media are saying the police should be harsher.
He added that it’s obvious based today’s rally turnout that the pro-police people are generally middle aged or older.
Wang says he thinks there are youngsters among the participants but they don’t have the courage to speak up and tend to remain silent.
They said they will be there to cover tomorrow’s protest as objectively as possible too.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 6.31pm]
Two young local YouTubers were conducting interviews for their channel and asked passers by what they thought of the police’s actions recently. Some accused the YouTubers of siding with the protesters. They said "we were just asking a question" #hkprotests #hkpolice #antiELAB pic.twitter.com/FBHiJpwM4C— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) August 17, 2019
[UPDATE: August 17 - 6.15pm]
A 15 year old student from a local secondary school in HK said that at first, he was against the bill. “But gradually, as the protesters escalated their actions, the protesters crossed the line.” He adds that specifically after the break in at LegCo, he believes the police’s response has been “appropriate and completely reasonable.”
He added that if similar things happened in other countries, police would have used a real gun.
Then an elderly lady yelled: “Don’t speak to the media! They will edit your response,” and his mother pulled him away.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 5.58pm]
Professor Peter Beattie from CUHK is here with his colleague. He’s trying to recruit people from both sides of the political spectrum to take a survey about the extradition bill. He says that reception today has been welcoming and he will be at Victoria Park tomorrow doing the same
[UPDATE: August 17 - 5.38pm]
A 28 year old man brought his violin and was playing for the crowd today. Not wishing to be photographed, Leung (his last name), said he’s not really on any “side”. He feels sad seeing the conflict happening in Hong Kong. “As a Christian, all I can do is pray and offer worship, so that’s why I’m here playing my violin.” He said he might be here tomorrow as well.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 5.31pm]
Young Post has a team on the ground in Tamar Park for the pro-police rally.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 1.20pm]
As the last batch of protesters make their way up to Government House for the teachers' march, we're signing off until this evening's pro-police rally which begins at 5pm.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 1.16pm]
Teachers heard calling for an end to the violence of the ongoing protests.
1.16pm: Teachers calling out for an end to the violence, chanting "Don't shoot our children." They were also heard chanting “Safeguard our children, Stick to our conscience”. #Hongkongprotests #hongkong pic.twitter.com/is34XZzVKU— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) August 17, 2019
[UPDATE: August 17 - 1.07pm]
Police have blocked the road to traffic heading up the hill past St John's Cathedral due to the continuous flow of protesters still heading to Government House.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 1.01pm]
Outside Central Government Offices on Lower Albert Road, a stream of protesters can still be seen headed in both directions, as participants in the teachers' march continue to head up to Government House, and down again.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 12.54pm]
As teachers head down the hill, a couple of young anti-Elab protesters thank them for standing in solidarity with them. "Add oil" heard from both parties.
The students' sign reads "Sorry you've had to worry about us over these two months. From a group of students with conscience."
[UPDATE: August 17 - 12.46pm]
More than an hour and a half after the first protesters set off from Chater Garden, teachers are still making their way up to Government House. Most of them carry signs that say "Conscience", and are chanting "Carrie Lam, step down".
[UPDATE: August 17 - 12.46pm]
This afternoon's scheduled protest against the misuse of teargas, which negatively affects police dogs, was cancelled earlier today because of the "controversy" surrounding the organisation - some claimed it was not a legitimate group.
The organisers asked anti-Elab protesters to not forget the original reasons for their demonstrations, and called for the government to respond to all the five demands.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 12.08pm]
The first lot of teachers are making their way back down the hill as others continue on to Government House.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 12.05pm]
Organisers urge participants to join the mass rally at Victoria Park tomorrow, organised by the Civil Human Rights Front.
[UPDATE: August 17 - noon]
Teachers have reached Government House and are listening to organisers reading statements.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 11.50am]
The teachers are making the most of the weather, using their umbrellas to display posters such as this one, which reads "Safeguard our next generation [and] our conscience".
[UPDATE: August 17 - 11.48am]
Protesters are marching uphill now. Turning into Upper Albert Road
[UPDATE: August 17 - 11.44am]
Organisers are now leading the protesters up Lower Albert Road, and have just passed Central Government Offices Main Wing.
[UPDATE: August 17 - 11.35am]
[UPDATE: August 17 - 11.32am]
Hundreds of teachers gathered at Chater Garden begin their protest march. The participants aer chanting "Hongkongers, add oil", "Teachers, add oil", and "Students, add oil".
[UPDATE: August 17 - 10.36am]
The Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union published a statement on Facebook .
It said: "As teachers, we have witnessed our students and citizens being violently treated every day. They have traded their own future, or even lives, for the future of our city, for that we are in great agony.... We want to let our youngsters know that 'you are not alone'."
They also called for the government to respond to the protesters' five demands, and to stop deploying excessive force against citizens.