The first protest against government policy in two years took place in Hong Kong, but it took place under strict police control and according to precisely defined conditions. The number of participants was limited to a maximum of 100, and all had to wear number tags.
In mid-2020, Beijing introduced a national security law in Hong Kong aimed at suppressing expressions of dissent in the city, which was then rocked by protests for more democracy.
Since then, there have been few protests there, helped by a combination of the effects of the strict law and restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic.
Today’s protest rally was directed against the authorities’ plan to acquire land in the east of the city. As the first officially permitted protest since the lifting of strict measures during covid, it also offered an answer to the question of how much opposition is still allowed in the city.
The police demanded strict conditions from the organizers, including a limit of no more than 100 participants, who had to wear number tags around their necks. The protesters – about 80 of them gathered – were surrounded by a police cordon, and media representatives were also separated from them.
The policemen also carefully examined the banners and posters to ensure that none of them contained “politically sensitive and rebellious slogans”, according to one of the protesters, according to AFP.