2019.08.24 "Ignite Hong Kong, Ignite Hope" Kwun Tong Mass Demonstration

Like previous demonstrations and marches, Hong Kongers once again urged the government to answer to the Five Demands and to raise public awareness on the installation of the smart lamppost and privacy infringement.

Related news: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/24/tear-gas-kwun-tong-hong-kong-protesters-surround-police-station-dismantle-surveillance-lampposts/

Unprecedently, MTR closed down stations right before a demonstration. Service between 7 stations (from Choi Hung to Tiu Keng Leng) was suspended for nearly 12 hours. It only resumed at 11:45 PM.

Protesters took down a smart lamppost that is thought to be used for surveilance and facial recoginition. Police on the other hand arrested 29 people.

On 24 August, a protest was held in Kwun Tong in opposition to the extradition bill. The protest was initially banned by the police, though the ban was lifted after the route of the protest was changed. About thousands of people marched from Tsun Yip Street Playground to the Zero Carbon Building in Kowloon Bay. During the march, protesters also expressed concerns about recently installed smart lampposts enabled with facial recognition and video surveillance capabilities. Many worried that the lampposts would be used to further restrict freedom in Hong Kong, as China continues to tighten its grip. During the protest, one of these smart lampposts was knocked down and dismantled.

At around 4:15 pm, protesters began to occupy sections of Wai Yip Street near Ngau Tau Kok Police Station and hurled objects at the police, while the police responded by using tear gas, beanbag rounds, and pepper balls to disperse the protesters. Some protesters then retreated to Telford Garden and sprayed water hose at officers, and the police used tear gas and sponge grenade in return. Kwun Tong Road was briefly occupied by both the police and the protesters. At night, protesters moved to Wong Tai Sin, Lok Fu and Sham Shui Po.

Before the protest began, MTR suddenly announced that stations between the proposed march area, Choi Hung station, and Tiu Keng Leng station, would be closed, and claimed the move was necessary to protect MTR facilities and staff safety. Many criticized this decision as an act to restrict freedom of protest, and that by closing these stations, MTR has caused greater disturbance to the public. MTR also arranged special trains for the officers. Protesters criticized MTR for cooperating with the police and called it the “railway of the Communist Party”.

The march’s organizer, Ventus Lau, was arrested for “unlawful assembly” after the protest, even though the police has already approved the march.

( Source: Wiki )