Thousands attended a rally in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Saturday in the latest pro-government event denouncing violence and expressing support for the Hong Kong police.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Organised by the pro-establishment group Politihk Social Strategic, the event saw attendees filling the park’s central lawn amid wet weather for an afternoon of music and speeches. Organisers put the turnout at 90,000, while police said 26,000 attended at the event’s peak.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The event’s theme was “a hopeful tomorrow,” and some attendees held placards that read “give peace a chance”, “say no to violence” and “support police together.”

Innes Tang, who chairs Politihk Social Strategic, told the crowd that he opposed all forms of violence.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

“We want to be an example to others, to show that you don’t have to use bricks to make yourself heard,” he said. “If they complain no one listens to them, it’s not because they’re not loud enough, it’s because they used the wrong methods.”

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Tang added that the rally was peaceful and lawful. “Today we use music to calm our spirit and banish evil… We have no illness, we don’t need to wear face masks.”

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Some attendees waved China’s national flag and Hong Kong’s regional flag.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Many wore white t-shirt with the words “Protect our home” written across the front in red.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Pro-Beijing firebrand Junius Ho praised the police at the rally, saying that officers had “hearts of infinite tolerance.”

Photo: May James/HKFP.

He said that anti-government protesters have slandered the police by saying they colluded with triads.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

“We have the world’s first-rate police force. They have hearts of infinite tolerance… and they are cultured, well-mannered and high quality,” Ho said. “We must not abuse them or treat them rudely.”

Photo: May James/HKFP.

“The [extradition bill saga] turned some of our best-educated people, our university students into illiterates.”

Photo: May James/HKFP.

On Thursday, rural authority Heung Yee Kuk issued a notice calling on 27 rural committees to “mobilise” villagers to attend the rally.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

They said that the Kuk would reimburse the costs of renting coaches.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

RTHK reported on Saturday afternoon that some rally participants arrived on coaches.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Rally attendee Ms. Ng told HKFP that she felt strongly against violent incidents in the city.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

“Putting aside who’s right or wrong, a law-based society have rules… there are a lot of assault cases, I don’t want to see any more of them,” she said.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The rally took place at the same time as anti-extradition protesters marched in Kowloon.

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Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.