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Hong Kong Police to ban rally planned for coming weekend

HONG KONG: After last week’s violent clash between protesters and security forces, Hong Kong Police is planning to ban a rally and march planned for the coming weekend citing heightened safety concerns, South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

The organisers of the rally– Civil Human Rights Front — will be informed of its application rejection on Thursday, a police source said.

The rally was scheduled to start at 3 pm from Chater Garden to march to the Liaison Office, Beijing’s representative body in the city, in the Western District.

“Both the rally and the march will be objected to. The risk is too big. You can see the number of petrol bombs the protesters threw last weekend,” the source said.

Sunday’s pro-democracy protests had begun peacefully. Thousands braved a thunderstorm to march from Kwai Chung to Tsuen Wan district, in the city’s New Territories.

They showed up dressed in plastic ponchos and raincoats and huddled under a sea of umbrellas.

But the violence returned in the evening when a smaller group of protesters broke away from the day’s main police-approved march — now a familiar feature of the protests. They used traffic cones and street railings to build makeshift barricades in the street and threw bricks, metal poles, and petrol bombs at police.

Tear gas was initially deployed but failed to disperse the group, CNN reported.

Later, water cannons were used against a makeshift barricade, marking the first time water cannon vans had ever been used in the city. Protesters were pushed back but couldn’t be dispersed.

Police had admitted that they fired 215 tear gas canisters, 72 rubber bullets, 44 sponge rounds and four bean bag rounds during the weekend clashes.

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