The Civil Human Rights Front has changed their planned anti-extradition bill gathering at Admiralty on July 21 into a march. They now plan to make their way from Victoria Park to the Court of Final Appeal and end the protest at Chater Road, pending a Letter of No Objection from the police. Protesters are to gather at Victoria Park at 3.00pm and set off at 3.30pm.
The announcement came on Wednesday, one day after the Front rejected the police’s suggestion to postpone the rally to August due to public safety concerns. They counter-proposed the idea of holding a march and promised to safeguard the personal safety of all marchers.
According to a statement on the Front’s Facebook page, they believe organising a march is more suitable in light of the recent developments related to the anti-extradition law movement. Many district protests have since been rescheduled to gather support for the Front’s actions.
It will be the first time anti-extradition protesters make a stop at the Court of Final Appeal. They explained it is an attempt to underline one of their five demands, which is to urge the government to set up an independent commission of inquiry headed by judges to look into alleged police brutality during previous protests.
The other four demands include: complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, the rescinding of the categorisation of the events of June 12 as rioting, the dropping of all charges against arrested protesters, and the implementation of universal suffrage for the posts of Chief Executive and Legco members.
The Front added they predicted other citizen-initiated actions would take place on August 31, which is the fifth anniversary of the “831 decision” delivered by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in 2014, which set limits for the previous Chief Executive and Legco elections. The decision triggered a series of protests and that eventually led to the Occupy Central movement,
The Front also stated protests may also be held on October 1, the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.
Convenor Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit of the Front said "We are confident we can provide a peaceful and lawful place for marchers. Our previous marches have been smooth and orderly." He added they expected the conditions for the march requested by police will be largely similar to marches on June 9, 16 and July 1.
In related news, pro-establishment legislators organised their own rallies to show support for the police on Wednesday afternoon at Police Headquarters in Wan Chai, where they suggested that police stop issuing protest permits for the time being. Ann Chiang Lai-wan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city's largest pro-Beijing party, and independent lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu were the organisers of these events, which were attended by dozens of supporters.