The Civil Human Rights Front has organised a Human Rights Day Rally at 3pm today to protest against the government and police for their alleged abuse of power and unfair treatments towards protesters during the six-month anti-government movement.
The march is set to begin at Victoria Park's Central Lawn in Causeway Bay and end at Chater Road Pedestrian Precinct in Central. Organisers was granted a Letter of No Objection on Thursday, which would allow participants to assemble at Central Lawn from 12-6pm, and march on the approved route from 3-10pm.
It is being held two days before Human Rights Day, a day which commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It is the first march to receive police approval since mid-August.
Follow out live blog of the march below:
This wraps up our live coverage of the rally. For further updates, go to the South China Morning Post live blog here.
Jimmy Shan Tsz-kit, the convenor of the Front, spoke to reporters in a press conference and announced that more than 800,000 people attended today's pro-democracy rally. The police said that peak attendance was estimated at 183,000 participants.
Protesters set up a defence line on Pedder Street in Central with umbrellas, about 100 metres away from the police. One masked protester shouted, "This is the finish point of the march. If you don't leave, how can we leave?"
Protesters heckle police on Rodney Street in Admiralty. Police respond by shining powerful flashlights at them.
Police raised a blue warning flag in Central stating that the meeting or processionwas in breach of the law and that they may use force. Protesters responded by saying no one was holding protest signs or chanting slogans, so they did not understand why the police said they were taking part in an illegal procession.
Riot police officers outside Hang Seng Bank on Des Voeux Road Central have been pointing powerful flashlights at protesters and reporters. Protesters have also shone laser pointers at the police from a distance, but none of those on the receiving end of police flashlights appear to have laser pointers.
Protesters altered this wall art of a young girl playing football with cats outside Southern Playground in Wan Chai. They added red paint under the eyes to protest against police use of tear gas, and a dab of red can be seen on their chest to protest against police use of live ammunition. The words read "Return our eyes".
Democratic Party member and Legco lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu is seen rooting for protesters in Causeway Bay.
A branch of the Chiyu Bank has been vandalised on Hennessy Road. Broken glass is all over the floor and an alarm can be heard.
Pro-democracy protesters light up the night sky with their phones as they march towards Central. They chant slogans such as 'Five demands, not one less', and 'Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times'. Live blog: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#hongkongprotests #HongKong #HKProtests pic.twitter.com/41u1HQ4eWk— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
A protester in a Guy Fawkes mask holds up a giant sign on top of a bus stop. The sign urges non-frontline protesters to do their part by getting ready to go on a long-term strike. The QR codes point users to the relevant informational Facebook group and Telegram channel.
As the skies turn dark, many protesters are still marching to Central from Causeway Bay. Some are passing resources, including helmets, to the front.
Protesters stuck in the middle of the pro-democracy march pass umbrellas and plastic zip ties to the front using a human supply chain. Organisers urge people to leave Central peacefully to make room for others. Live blog: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#hongkongprotests #HKProtests pic.twitter.com/VeJnoWLCss— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
Police have deployed riot officers and a water cannon on Des Voeux Road in Central.
The march organiser Civil Human Rights Front have arrived at the intersection of Chater Road and Peddar Street in Central. They reminded marchers that the intersection was the finish point of the march, and urged them to disperse peacefully as more people were still making their way from Victoria Park. The Letter of No Objection is valid until 10 pm.
Politicians and celebrities were seen with the organiser, including pro-democracy lawmaker Tanya Chan (in purple) and singer-songwriter Anthony Wong Yiu-ming (sunglasses and black t-shirt with yellow umbrella logo).
Pan-democrat and Hong Kong Legco member Claudia Mo is in Central for the march. She embraces a supporter, as organisers give instructions to the crowd about possible next steps. Live coverage here: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#hongkongprotests #HongKong #HKProtests #democracy #Legco pic.twitter.com/jDUAb05HUI— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
People at the head of the march have reached the designated end point of at Chater Garden, but are marching further into Central.
The crowd makes way for wheelchair-bound protesters during the pro-democracy march in Hong Kong. Streets are full but things remain peaceful. Live blog here: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#hongkongprotests #HongKong #HKProtests #democracy #HumanRightsDay pic.twitter.com/2WNGcHYpUt— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
Protesters have made a Lennon Wall quilt outside Pacific Place with anti-government and pro-democracy messages.
Newly-promoted Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Ping-keung was seen speaking to frontline officers on a footbridge near the Wan Chai Police headquarters. He did not respond to protesters who shouted anti-police slogans at them.
Protesters have now occupied both Irving Road and Yee Wo Street, while some have decided to continue on Gloucester Road as well.
'Do You Hear the People Sing' being blasted on speakers during pro-democracy march in Hong Kong. Protesters want a response to their 5 demands. Live coverage here: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#hongkongprotests #HongKong #HKProtests pic.twitter.com/yEvQOSXAYu— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
Members of the Professional Teachers Union can be seen participating in the march.
Helicopters have been deployed, as protesters on the ground chant slogans such as "Five demands, not one less" and "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times" in Cantonese.
Riot police in full gear are deployed near Paterson Street in Causeway Bay.
Some people are gathering directly on the streets of Causeway Bay instead of the starting point of Victoria Park.
Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, the convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, made a public announcement near the Central Library urging citizens to take part in the march.
"In addition to calling on the government to respond to the five demands and [establish an independent commission of inquiry to] look into police brutality, we must also defend human rights for our international community," he said.
He added that protesters should keep track of the march's latest arrangement through their official Telegram channel and Facebook page.
Crowds in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, observe a moment for HKUST student Chow Tsz-lok, who died near an area where there were clashes between police and protesters in Nov.— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) December 8, 2019
Follow our blog of today's events here: https://t.co/RnOxuaGBBk#HongKongProtests #hongkong #HKProtests pic.twitter.com/B91QLVrVVp
Hong Kong police have seized weapons, including a 9mm handgun with live ammunition, during raids earlier in the morning. They confirmed they had arrested 11 people aged between 20 and 63.
Police also said they believed the weapons were intended to be used at the march today, and urged people to stay alert during the rally today.
People have begun to gather at the central lawn of Victoria Park. The usual gathering spot is closed because it is being set up for the Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo, which will be held from December 10-31.
Tam Tak-chi, the vice-president of the League of Social Democrats urges citizens to stand up against tyranny at Great George Street in Causeway Bay. Other pan-democratic parties have also set up booths in the area.