Dozens of democracy supporters were arrested in Hong Kong on Thursday for defying a protest ban as the city marked China’s National Day and its leader hailed Beijing’s new security law for restoring stability to the restive finance hub.
The People’s Republic of China celebrates its founding on October 1 with a holiday and carefully choreographed festivities.
But in Hong Kong, it has become a day of grievance for those worried about authoritarian Beijing’s intensifying crackdown against its opponents.
Protest has been effectively outlawed for most of this year due to coronavirus restrictions on gatherings and Beijing also imposed a strict national security law on the city in June.
Police said at least 60 were detained during protests, mostly for “unlawful assembly”. Officers also raised banners warning crowds that they were breaching the national security law with their protest chants.
Last year’s National Day, the PRC’s 70th anniversary, brought fierce clashes between protesters and police during seven months of democracy demonstrations that upended Hong Kong.
Authorities denied permission for a protest march this year, citing security concerns and an anti-coronavirus ban on more than four people gathering in public.