Words: Steve Brown
Hong Kong police has issued a letter of objection for this year’s Pride Parade saying participants will be restricted to a stationary rally rather than a march.
The annual Pride Parade – which has been running for 10 years – was set to take place this Saturday (November 16) but according to the official Facebook page for the event, police have ruled that the celebration of the LGBTQ community in Hong Kong will go ahead ‘only in the form of a public meeting’.
On Facebook, the group wrote: “The Hong Kong Police have issued a Letter of No Objection to the public event held by the Hong Kong Pride Parade only in the form of a public meeting on November 16, 2019.
“The Hong Kong Pride Parade committee have decided to hold the public meeting at the original end point of the parade (Edinburgh Place) from 2 pm to 6 pm.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the changes for the scheduled performances and booths.
“According to a notice of no opposition issued by the Hong Kong police, the Hong Kong Gay Parade 2019 event is only approved in the form of a rally, so the gay parade on November 16, 2019 will be changed to a rally.
“The Conference will use the original destination as the venue for the meeting (love, Central, time: 2 PM-6 PM) and the original programme and booth schedule will be made to be changed if caused. Sorry for your inconvenience.”
Ray Chan, the first openly gay lawmaker in the Chinese-speaking world, took to Twitter to voice his concern about the ban.
He wrote: “BREAKING: The #HongKongPride Parade 2019, scheduled for Saturday November 16, has been banned by the @hkpoliceforce.
“On this anniversary of #Stonewall30, what an irony. As @HongKongHermit succinctly points out, #GayPride was and still is a protest.”
According to Apple Daily, this marks the first time that police have prevented Hong Kong Pride from taking place.
Following ongoing protests in the Chinese capital, police have been reluctant to grant letters of no objection for marches.