(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police refused permission for a Saturday protest scheduled to take place in the same area that saw unidentified groups of men attack demonstrators, even as its organizer said he would go ahead with the rally planned to condemn the violence.
Saturday’s march was organized after a group of mysterious, white-shirted men attacked black-shirted protesters at Yuen Long train station in a city suburb on July 21 as they returned from taking part in a protest of more than 100,000 people earlier that day. Other passengers and journalists were also injured.
Police later arrested a handful of men and said some had links to the city’s notorious organized crime syndicates, known as triads. Footage of stick-wielding assailants running amok in the station -- as well as complaints that police on the scene did little to stop them -- have shocked Hong Kong.
Protest organizer Max Chung, who applied for the permit, told reporters he couldn’t “comprehend” the rejection.
“I will go ahead and march even if it’s just by myself this Saturday,” he said Thursday, after the protest was denied. “For now, I will not ask others to join me,” he added, before going on to give journalists details about the march route.
Read: Hong Kong’s Despair Runs Deeper Than Violent Street Protests
If Saturday’s march proceeds, it would mark the eighth-straight weekend of protests in the former British colony as embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her government reel from the city’s biggest political crisis since its return to Chinese rule in 1997. Mass protests sparked by opposition to legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland have widened to include widespread calls for Lam’s resignation and an investigation into police abuses against demonstrators.
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