Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Hongkongers march to China express rail station to ‘spread anti-extradition law message to mainland tourists’

Organisers of an anti-extradition law protest said that 230,000 marched to the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminal on Sunday in order to inform visitors from the mainland about their movement. Police put the turnout figure at 56,000.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Protesters take part in a march to the West Kowloon railway station, where high-speed trains depart for the Chinese mainland, during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong on July 7, 2019. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP.

The march in Tsim Sha Tsui was initiated among protesters online, and reiterated the five core demands of the recent demonstrations.

The demands include the complete withdrawal of the controversial bill which would enable fugitive transfers to the mainland, as well as for charges against protesters to be dropped.

Posters advertising the rally said it was an opportunity to “spread the message to mainland tourists” in the popular tourist district.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: InMediahk.net.

Ventus Lau, one of the organisers, told reporters that the event would be “peaceful, rational and graceful.”

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Ventus Lau. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

“We want to show the peaceful side of our protest to mainland tourists, and hope that they will bring the truth of the situation back to the mainland,” Lau said.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

A flyer in simplified Chinese urges mainland citizens to join the protests. Photo: InMediahk.net.

He added that the crowd size had exceeded his expectations, which he attributed to the storming of the Legislative Council building on Monday.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Kong Tsung-gan.

Demonstrators gathered at the Salisbury Garden next to the Space Museum at around 2pm.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

The march, originally set to begin at 4pm, commenced early with police giving approval for protesters to walk along Kowloon Park Drive and Canton Road.

As demonstrators left the harbourfront, they shouted slogans at police officers on duty, such as “shame on black cops” and “investigate police abuse of force.”

Mr Wong, a 40-year-old, said he wanted to show solidarity with young people: “As long as [Chief Executive] Carrie Lam doesn’t accept any demands, this is not over,” he told HKFP.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: InMediahk.net.

He added that he was sympathetic to those who stormed the legislature on Monday, despite the use of violence: “Everyone is asking what else we can do. I don’t know what the answer is for me. But I think that’s what the answer is for young people.”

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: InMediahk.net.

Before setting off, protesters held a moment of silence for four people who took their own lives, each of whom left messages relating to the protests.

Jenny, a student volunteer at a self-care station, told HKFP that protesters needed emotional support. Station volunteers handed out leaflets saying: “You are not alone, we advance and retreat together.”

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

“I think a lot of people are coming out to honour the memory of the four who died, and we need to make sure there aren’t any others,” she said.

Mr Zhang, a young tourist from mainland China, said he was aware of protests in Hong Kong, but could not name any of the protesters’ demands. He said he knew about the storming of the legislature on Monday, which he felt was “excessive.”

“The marchers I saw today seemed to be more normal,” he added. “I hope they won’t take any action against mainlanders in this area.”

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Outside the high-speed rail link connecting Hong Kong and the mainland, activist from Demosito raised a blackened version of the city’s flag.

Station on lockdown

On Sunday morning, the MTR Corporation suspended ticket sales for the mainland.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Scott Scout, via Telegram.

Those who previously bought tickets could still enter the station, but they were asked to show their tickets and identification documents at the station’s entrance.

The station was also surrounded by two-metre-tall barricades, which partly enclosed the public space outside the station.

july 7 china extradition kowloon rail

Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Ventus Lau said that he was troubled by the high-profile measures adopted by the police: “This is a disproportionate level of response… which is meant to create the impression that the march is dangerous… The barricades will make it hard for people to leave, and affect those who want to use the services of the station.”

Hongkongers march to China express rail station to 'spread anti-extradition law message to mainland tourists'