Also on Friday, the police arrested at least three prominent democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, a student leader of the Umbrella Movement, and Agnes Chow, a fellow activist. The police said the two had been arrested on unauthorized assembly charges related to a June 21 protest in which thousands of people surrounded the police headquarters.
“In the face of white terror, no one is spared,” Mr. Wong told reporters after being released on bail on Friday, on condition of an 11 p.m. curfew. “This is a time when we need unity more than ever.”
Three lawmakers from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislative minority — Cheng Chung-tai, Au Nok-hin and Jeremy Tam — were also arrested on Friday, on charges related to their participation in the protests this summer. As of Saturday morning, their Facebook pages suggested that they were still being held.
Hong Kong’s political crisis, the worst since Britain handed the colony back to China in 1997, was set off by widespread anger over a bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial. The measure, which critics said could be used to target activists, was suspended, but not withdrawn as protesters have demanded.
Saturday’s march was meant to proceed from the Hong Kong’s central business district to the Chinese government’s local liaison office, as a means of focusing public attention on the five-year anniversary of Beijing’s decision to limit elections.
The liaison office was vandalized by a hard-core group of protesters last month, prompting China to denounce them — and to place a plastic shield around a national crest outside the building, which protesters had spattered with ink. Since then, the police have kept protesters from approaching the building, sometimes by firing rounds of tear gas.
Street violence has come in fits and starts during this summer’s protests, and life in Hong Kong has otherwise proceeded relatively normally. But there is growing fear among a wide cross-section of Hong Kong society that the violence, which has included a mob attack on protesters, could eventually lead to deaths.
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