The secretary-general of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Lee Cheuk-yan, said they will not apply for a “letter of no objection” for the march, because Hong Kong people’s freedom to protest is already enshrined in the Basic Law and doesn’t require the authorities’ approval.
The march, from East Point Road in Causeway Bay to Central’s Chater Garden, is slated to start at 1pm.
Lee said they want to show the world that this year’s National Day – which also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – is a day of shame, not celebrations.
An appeal board had earlier agreed with the police that in light of recent clashes following protests, a National Day march would pose a threat to people’s safety. The Civil Human Rights Front promptly announced that its demonstration was therefore cancelled.
One of the organisers of the re-arranged march, barrister Albert Ho, conceded that anybody joining the demonstration would be doing so at their own risk.
“I think that people can anticipate that there is a possibility that police would prosecute. I think we have to make it clear,” Ho said.
“But still, our right to march does not depend on the issuance of a notice of no objection. Because our right stems from the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights. And any decision contrary to the principles of the Bill of Rights and the Basic Law is liable to be challenged in court.”