The first protest since the introduction of the 2020 National Security Law in Hong Kong was held Sunday in Tseung Kwan O, an eastern area of Hong Kong. Protestors marched against the implementation of a new land reclamation plan but did so in compliance with certain restrictions imposed by authorities.
Hong Kong authorities limited the protest to a maximum of 100 participants, whose banners and placards were screened before the demonstration. A cordon separated media from the protestors, who were also required to wear numbered lanyards as they chanted their slogans in opposition to the land reclamation plan.
In response to the demonstration, the city’s Development Bureau acknowledged the people’s “right to freedom of expression,” but emphasized that the land development plan was needed to “make good use of the land to create a new liveable community.” The bureau outlined the projects aims, stating that the facilities they intended to build were “necessary to support the daily needs of the community.” The bureau did propose the possibility of relocating part of the project into caverns, and stated that research will be conducted into the idea. They ended their statement by ensuring that the facilities would not be “obtrusive” nor “bring any nuisance.”
This was the first protest in Hong Kong to be approved by police in two years. The right to public assembly is set out in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, however, such rights have been restricted as a result of the new National Security Law implemented in 2020. Beijing claimed these restrictions are crucial to safeguard Hong Kong’s political stability.