Hong Kong police locked down an area outside a court on Monday as they issued warnings to supporters of the 47 pro-democracy activists facing trial over security law charges.

Police officers cordoned off an area surrounding the West Kowloon Law Courts building after supporters chanted slogans such as “Hong Kong people add oil,” “supporting our comrades till the end” and “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.” The latter was deemed illegal under the security law by the government last year.

Police holding up warning flags
Police holding up warning flags warning people outside the West Kowloon Law Courts Building that they might be violating the national security law and participating in an illegal assembly. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Officers raised a purple warning flag telling citizens that their slogans may be in violation of the national security law, as well as a blue warning flag, which cautions people that they are participating in an illegal assembly, and police may use force to disperse them.

Some of those gathered made a “five-one” finger gesture, representing the “five demands, not one less” slogan from the anti-extradition bill protests in 2019, as well as the three-finger salute in solidarity with anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.

Supporters dispersed

The commotion outside court happened as the hearing of 47 democrats charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion” got underway. They stand accused of participating in and organising a primary election for the now-postponed 2020 legislative council election.

Over 100 people remained queuing outside the court as they waited for a seat for the afternoon hearing.

Supporters of pro-democracy activists charged under the national security law
Supporters of pro-democracy activists charged under the national security law holding up hand signs. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Police then told the members of public over a loudspeaker to leave the cross-section of Tonkin Street West and Tung Chau Street. Some shouted back at the police and told them to “get off the road.”

According to a StandNews livestream, police then cordoned off the periphery of the courthouse whilst several people were stopped by officers and had their identification cards checked.

The lockdown was later partially lifted at around 5pm as the majority of those gathered left the area.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.