Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched in multiple Hong Kong neighbourhoods on Saturday against government plans to potentially turn some buildings into coronavirus quarantine centres, demanding full closure of the mainland China border.
The protests – which escalated in June over a perceived tightening of Beijing’s grip over the city, which Beijing denies – have lost their intensity in recent weeks as panic over the virus kept most people indoors.
But anger has been brewing over Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s refusal to completely shut the border with mainland China, where coronavirus is believed to have originated, with some medical staff going on strike and small-scale protests emerging in various locations in support.
On Saturday, hundreds rallied in the northern neighbourhoods of Tai Po and Tin Shui Wai as well as in Aberdeen on the Hong Kong island, chanting “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times” and “Oppose pneumonia clinic”. Most protesters wore surgical masks and many were dressed in all black.
Television footage showed police in riot gear making several arrests and using pepper spray in Tin Shui Wai.