Hong Kong protestors rally in defiance of police ban

HONG KONG — Hundreds of people are rallying in an athletic park in central Hong Kong as a 13th straight weekend of pro-democracy protests gets underway.

A crowd of both young and old pumped their fists as they chanted slogans in the stands of the soccer field at Southorn Playground early Saturday afternoon.

Authorities are shutting down streets and subway service about 5 kilometres west near the Chinese government’s office in Hong Kong. They warned that a public event may cause severe disruptions.

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of a decision by China’s ruling Communist Party against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong.

Organizers have called off a planned march to the Chinese government office after police denied permission for it, but some protesters may demonstrate anyway.

The march today came after at least five high-profile activists and three lawmakers were arrested one after the other on Thursday and Friday on accusations linked to the protests, in a sweep that lasted late into the night.

Two of the Umbrella Movement’s leaders, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow were arrested in Friday morning swoops and appeared later in court accused of “inciting others to take part in unauthorized assembly” among other charges. They were later released on bail.


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