Four groups who had their applications rejected for street fundraising could be successful if they apply again, police have hinted.

Several groups that had hoped to raise funds at Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy rally on Wednesday announced last week that their temporary hawker licences had been rejected by the authorities.

It is the first time applications for a temporary hawker licences for the July 1 march have been turned down by the government.

Police spokesman. Photo: Now TV.
Photo: Now TV.

A police spokesman said that four of the five organisations who had their applications declined could resubmit after they changed their street stall locations to a side street away from the main march. “We have sent objections to nine of the locations due to the fact that the locations along [the] route are a bit narrow,” he said.

Scholarism street booth july 1 2012
Scholarism anti-national education street booth set up during the July 1 march in 2012. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

For pro-democracy groups and political parties on the pan-democrat side, the annual rally is one of the most important fundraising events on the calendar.

The five groups that were rejected by the authorities include the Civil Human Rights Front – the main organisers of the annual march – the Democratic Party, the Big Love Alliance, Power for Democracy and the Civic Party.

July 1 protests in 2006. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
July 1 protests in 2006. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Speaking one day after the protesters and police clashed in Mong Kok last night, the spokesperson said: “We ask all individuals who take part in the July 1 protest to obey orders of police officers at the scene. I emphasise that the police will not tolerate actions which disturb public order.”

The rally will start at Victoria Park and move along Causeway Road, Yee Wo Street, Hennessy Road, Queensway and Harcourt Road, ending at Admiralty.

The march focuses on human rights and political issues including freedom of speech and universal suffrage. The theme for this year’s march is to call for a rewriting of the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s mini constitution – and the resignation of CY Leung as the city’s chief executive.

Last year, police accused the Civil Human Rights Front of deliberately leading the march slowly and even threatened legal action against the organisers. In turn, the group accused the police of partially blocking the front of the procession by not opening up more lanes.

Paul Benedict Lee is an undergraduate law student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Paul has previously contributed to HK Magazine and Radio Television Hong Kong, covering issues ranging from local heritage conservation to arts features. He has also worked as a legal intern at local human rights firm Daly & Associates.