Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Hongkongers defy mask ban in fresh protest

Several hundred Hongkongers marched from Causeway Bay to Central after the government issued an anti-mask law by invoking the colonial law Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO).

See also: Hong Kong’s MTR, banks and malls close down after mask ban sparks city-wide unrest

The crowd first gathered at the Sogo department store in Causeway Bag at around 2pm: “Hongkongers, resist!” many chanted. “Five demands, not one less!” The protest had not recieved police approval.

mask ban march

Photo: Apple Daily.

Mass demonstrations and unrest have continued for more than 17 weeks, first sparked by an extradition bill which will soon be withdrawn. But the protests have morphed into a – sometimes violent – wider movement against the police use of force and calls for democracy.

After failing to stop the protests, the government invoked powers under the ERO – first introduced in 1922 – to enact a law to ban masks at lawful and unauthorised protests. The ERO has not been used since the 1967 leftist riots.

mask ban march

Photo: Apple Daily.

At the march on Saturday, a large banner that read “Glory to Hong Kong,” referring to a popular protest song, was unfurled in Wan Chai. The banner was made by the League of Social Democrats and had been displayed at several shopping malls.

The crowd dispersed after they reached Chater Road in Central though, at around 5:35pm, riot police ran towards two people wearing masks near the HSBC headquarters, searched them and took them away. The two were alone, were not close to any protesters, and were released soon after.

Another man wearing a head scarf, but not a mask, was detained by police outside Prince’s Building.

New Territories

Meanwhile, another group protesters gathered in Sheung Shui at around 3:30pm. They broke windows at a China Mobile branch, as well as a metal gate of a Maxim’s cake shop, according to Apple Daily. Protesters have been targetting Chinese state-run companies and some Hong Kong brands whose management have denounced the movement or have alleged ties to people attacking protesters.

Maxim's Sheung Shui damaged

A Maxim’s shop damaged in Sheung Shui. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Protesters also spray painted slogans on shops, which they deemed to be business hubs for parallel traders. Residents have often complained that they are forced to bear higher prices and had fewer choices when buying groceries owing to cross-border traders.

MTR closed

All MTR stations are closed earlier on Saturday. Photo: Apple Daily.

At the Tai Po Mega Mall, dozens conductd a sit-in and folded origami cranes to create slogans such as “five demands, not one less.”

A group of protesters also formed a human chain near the Harbour City mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, though many online called for a “rest day” ahead of larger protests planned for tomorrow.


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Hongkongers defy mask ban in fresh protest