Sunday’s anti-extradition march from Kwai Chung to Tsuen Wan has been approved by the police after being initially banned.

The authorities and organisers were able to reach a compromise over the route during an appeal hearing against the ban on Saturday afternoon.

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Organisers of Sunday’s march. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

The new route will see protesters march from Kwai Chung Sports Ground to the Tsuen Wan Park central plaza.

They will meet at 2:30pm and march from 3pm. The letter of no objection for the march ends at 7pm, and the rally at Tsuen Wan Park is set to end at 8pm.

“To facilitate assemblies, marches and demonstrations with all legal and reasonable measures – so they can take place effectively and peacefully – is the responsibility of the police,” organiser Lam Kai-hong told reporters after the Saturday hearing.

He added that he does not know whether the MTR would shut down the surrounding stations on Sunday, as the rail operator did on Saturday. “But our team believes that Hong Kong citizens have various ways of safely arriving at the starting point.”

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Saturday’s march in Kwun Tong. Photo: May James/HKFP.

Superintendent at the New Territories South Regional Headquarters Natalie Hong told reporters on Saturday that police had banned the march because the original starting point – Kwai Fong South Bus Terminus – was inappropriate.

She added that organisers have agreed to walk on the pavement rather than the highway in sections such as Kwai Fuk Road.

MTR closure

Meanwhile, the MTR announced on Sunday that it will close Kwai Fong and Tsuen Wan stations on the Tsuen Wan line, and Tsuen Wan West stations on the West Rail line beginning at 1:30pm. However, Tai Wo Hau, Kwai Hing and Lai King stations – all on the Tsuen Wan line – will remain open.

On Saturday, the rail operator shut down Kowloon Bay, Ngau Tau Kok, Kwun Tong and Lam Tin stations citing public safety reasons. It had come under pressure from state media earlier this week, which accused the firm of acting as an “accomplice to rioters.”

Police have banned a number of marches in recent weeks, citing public safety. Most recently, the Civil Human Rights Front’s August 18 march – which they say attracted 1.7 million – was only authorised to be a rally at Victoria Park.

The August 11 marches at Sham Shui Po and Hong Kong Island East – which descended into violent clashes – were also prohibited events.

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Elson Tong

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.