Hong Kong protests spread beyond confined area
Updated 09:20, 20-Aug-2019
By Ge Yunfei

On Sunday afternoon, a huge protest by anti-government groups has been held at Victoria Park in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, starting from 2 p.m. 

The protest rally was supposed to be a convention confined to the park, according to the demonstration permission it had received. But one hour after the rally began, the organizers called the crowds to move out and take to the streets. The mass spread out from the park to Charter Garden in Central, the city’s financial center. Lots of shops along the roads were closed.

Thousands of protesters are gathering before the PLA Hong Kong Garrison headquarters building and the Hong Kong government headquarters. At least 20 protesters are using laser beams pointing at the two buildings. It’s about six hours from the beginning of the protest, but it’s still going on. The traffic in the island is almost paralyzed. And all the bus services through the Hung Hom underwater tunnel stopped. 

According to local media, Hong Kong Police Force is organizing a defense line before the island’s West District Police Department. And the police is also positioning in the central government’s liaison office.

On Saturday, a CGTN reporter went to another large protest rally. When the crowd saw three police officers on the street, they immediately surrounded them and cursed at them. The police officers had to hide behind a car.

A huge protest by anti-government groups is held at Victoria Park in the HKSAR on August 18, 2019. /CGTN Photo

A huge protest by anti-government groups is held at Victoria Park in the HKSAR on August 18, 2019. /CGTN Photo

According to local media, the police have prepared two water cannon trucks. The vehicles might be used to restore order if there is any violence on Sunday evening. But so far, the protest march still seems peaceful. The organizers are calling for a loop when the protesters arrive at the final MTR stop Charter Garden. The government said it regretted that the demonstration chants anti-police slogans in a statement. 

Previously on a local online forum popular among Hong Kong protesters, some threads are calling for the radicals to wear full protective gear, preparing for a bloody fight with the police later on Sunday. The CGTN reporter spotted some people in full protective equipment in the crowds but did not see any clashes between them and the police so far.