Hundreds of protesters gathered in Hong Kong malls chanting slogans and songs as police quash the planned demonstration before it even began.
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These are the first signs of the resumption of the pro-democratic movement’s activities in Hong Kong after the entry into force of the security measures against the coronavirus epidemic.
The protest, dubbed “Mother’s Day outing” to coincide with the holiday, was meant to start in Tsim Sha Tsui according to the program that appeared online.
Dozens of officers in riot gear began patrolling the streets, intercepting those who passed by, including members of the press and specialized personnel in first aid.
#HKPolice dashed forward and used pepper spray against the crowds including journalists, first aiders and citizens, after protesters threw water bottles to them .Roy Kwong Junyu #鄺俊宇 was arrested during his on-site supervision.— Ryan Problem (@ProblemRyan) May 10, 2020
10th September 2020 22:45
Mong Kok#MotherDay pic.twitter.com/S8p6QcNxpC
Earlier in the week, the local government banned the demonstration due to the social distancing measures required by the coronavirus pandemic.
The demonstration had been canceled Wednesday by activists on Telegram.
According to Hong Kong Free Press, around 2:30 in the afternoon, the police started to extend a cordon around the Star Ferry pier.
The crowd then began to back away from the nearby Harbor City shopping mall, raising their hands in the name of “Five questions, not one less”, and chanting slogans such as “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times”.
A kid bursted into tears after inhaled pepper ball gun fired by #hkpolice inside a mall with full of people. #hkpolice’s gift to HongKong people at Mother’s Day. #HKPoliceState pic.twitter.com/12Q4gh3m0q— Studio Incendo (@studioincendo) May 10, 2020
In the meantime, the situation in other shopping centers has also become more heated.
At the MOKO mall in Mong Kok, police fired pepper ball projectiles in response to a bottle thrown from above, according to RTHK.
A 12-year-old girl was arrested, while another thirteen-year-old student journalist was taken away.
According to local police forces, their intervention was necessary after a few complaints and was requested in the name of the rules of social distancing.
Hong Kong police demanded all journalists to switch off their cameras and to sit down while being threatened with pepper spray.
WATCH from 1:30: #HKPolice demanded all journalists to switch off their cameras and to sit down while being threatened by pepper spray. One officer said, “I don’t care whether you’re a journalist or not, it’s my authority to check on all of your verification.” https://t.co/nCQow9nl4T— Yvonne Tong (@yvonne_tg) May 10, 2020
Roy Kwong Chun-yu, Legislative Councilor, has been arrested.
Roy Kwong Chun-yu, Legislative Councilor, has been pushed to the ground and arrested. RTHK live video. pic.twitter.com/YegQbCDSGp— Studio Incendo (@studioincendo) May 10, 2020