Police have downgraded Hong Kong’s annual gay pride parade to a stationary rally, organisers said on Thursday, after police banned the traditionally boisterous and colourful march through the territory as pro-democracy protests engulf the city.

Police allowed the Saturday afternoon event on condition it takes the “form of a public meeting” and not a march, Hong Kong Pride Parade said in a statement on Facebook.

The event will be held across the afternoon at Edinburgh Place in Central.

The move comes with violence spiking as protests enter a sixth month, with protesters bringing much of Hong Kong to a standstill since Monday.

Prominent LGBT lawmaker Ray Chan decried the ban on the parade through the city’s commercial heart – the key element to a global tradition celebrating equality.

“The pride parade has always been orderly, peaceful and well-disciplined,” he said.

“There is no reason for the police to reject the pride parade application… It has nothing to do with the recent protests.”

The event has previously been held in a carnival-like atmosphere with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and supporters parading through the city centre.

The parade is the latest casualty in a growing list of banned, cancelled or postponed events in Hong Kong’s normally packed social calendar. (AFP)