2019.10.05 Thousands Marched Against Anti-Mask Law; Masked Civilians Arrested in Central
Hong Kong Government used the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) to announce the enactment of the anti-mask law which took effect starting from 12 AM today. In response, netizens rallied up to participate in a self-organised “Anti-Mask Law Demonstration March ” that was planned to start at 2 PM from SOGO Causeway Bay and finish at Chater Garden in Central. At around 2:30 PM, a couple hundreds of citizens were seen outside of SOGO, and they slowly began to march towards Central. Many of them wore face masks and held a large, eye-catching banner that reads “Glory to Hong Kong”.
【14:30】The marching crowd gathered outside of SOGO and started to walk on the main road. There were a couple hundreds of citizens. Member of Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands Koo Sze Yiu and Secretaries-General of Demosistō Joshua Wong joined the march as well. Even though the anti-mask law had already taken effect, many still wore face masks.
【15:05】MTR announced airport express had restored service starting from 2:30 PM, while the other lines including light railway continue to suspend.
【15:45】Mr. Yip, a citizen who joined the march today said that he had not worn face mask in the past 100 days and only decided to wear one today for the first time. He was unsatisfied by the government’s deliberate ignorance towards police’s lack of identification number and warrant cards during questionable arrest operations, while it forces protestors to show their identity. “I am here today because I can’t let the government do whatever they want”, said Mr. Lam.
【15:35】Besides the march in Causeway Bay, some protestors also gathered in San Hong Street, Sheung Shui to build barricades. Some were wearing face masks. When ambulance needed to get across, they temporarily unblocked the road to allow passage.
【16:26】Some protestors also carried out their “Liberate Sheung Shui” campaign in face of the anti-mask law, distinctly targeting stores such as drug stores and make-up shops that are popular only because of the abundance parallel traders from mainland China rather than actually catering to the needs of the locals. Dozens of protestors vandalised Genki Sushi, Best Mart 360 and Arome Bakery inside Sheung Shui Centre, all of which are either supported by Chinese funding or owned by Maxim. Others hid the protestors’ identity using umbrellas.
【16:39】Protestors also sabotaged Sheung Shui MTR station by using fire extinguishers and striking down CCTVs. The station was filled with smoke and mist.
【16:43】Near Tsim Sha Tsui Pier, around a hundred mask-wearing citizens formed a chain and peacefully marched towards the direction of Harbour City.
【17:35】Multiple riot police suddenly rushed out to the tram station outside of the HSBC building in Central and search a few civilians wearing face masks. There were no ongoing protests or barricading nearby. Other civilians are enraged by the officers’ behaviour and immediately shouted “release them!” The face mask-wearing civilians were said to be released afterwards.
【17:48】In Central, riot police took a man in black clothing to the police vehicle, but they could not explain why he was arrested. They maintained that journalists should stay a certain distance away from them and stay on the side-walk. Civilians nearby shouted, “how come you can wear masks but we can’t?” They along with journalists kept pressuring the officers to give reasons, but they only responded that they didn’t know/were unsure/”you saw what we saw”/”go ask in a press meeting”. Still, the man was taken away and it was not clear whether he would be charged because of the anti-mask law.
【18:07】The human chain from Tsim Sha Tsui reached Waterloo Road and marched in the direction of Mong Kok police station. They chanted “see you in Victoria Park tomorrow” and “I have the right to wear masks” along with other slogans.
【19:15】A crowd of citizens walked from Tsim Sha Tsui to Maple Street Playground in Sham Shui Po. They sang Glory to Hong Kong and chanted. At last, there was a moment of silence to mourn the loss of lives during the anti-extradition movement, after which they called for citizens to demonstrate on the coming day.
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