Thousands attended a rally in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Saturday in the latest pro-government event denouncing violence and expressing support for the Hong Kong police.
Organised by the pro-establishment group Politihk Social Strategic, the event saw attendees filling the park’s central lawn amid wet weather for an afternoon of music and speeches. Organisers put the turnout at 90,000, while police said 26,000 attended at the event’s peak.
The event’s theme was “a hopeful tomorrow,” and some attendees held placards that read “give peace a chance”, “say no to violence” and “support police together.”
Innes Tang, who chairs Politihk Social Strategic, told the crowd that he opposed all forms of violence.
“We want to be an example to others, to show that you don’t have to use bricks to make yourself heard,” he said. “If they complain no one listens to them, it’s not because they’re not loud enough, it’s because they used the wrong methods.”
Tang added that the rally was peaceful and lawful. “Today we use music to calm our spirit and banish evil… We have no illness, we don’t need to wear face masks.”
Some attendees waved China’s national flag and Hong Kong’s regional flag.
Many wore white t-shirt with the words “Protect our home” written across the front in red.
Pro-Beijing firebrand Junius Ho praised the police at the rally, saying that officers had “hearts of infinite tolerance.”
He said that anti-government protesters have slandered the police by saying they colluded with triads.
“We have the world’s first-rate police force. They have hearts of infinite tolerance… and they are cultured, well-mannered and high quality,” Ho said. “We must not abuse them or treat them rudely.”
“The [extradition bill saga] turned some of our best-educated people, our university students into illiterates.”
On Thursday, rural authority Heung Yee Kuk issued a notice calling on 27 rural committees to “mobilise” villagers to attend the rally.
They said that the Kuk would reimburse the costs of renting coaches.
RTHK reported on Saturday afternoon that some rally participants arrived on coaches.
Rally attendee Ms. Ng told HKFP that she felt strongly against violent incidents in the city.
“Putting aside who’s right or wrong, a law-based society have rules… there are a lot of assault cases, I don’t want to see any more of them,” she said.
The rally took place at the same time as anti-extradition protesters marched in Kowloon.