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The rise and fall of the July 1 protests in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG: In 2003, public opposition to a national security bill to Hong Kong It increased an annual protest held on July 1 before hundreds of thousands of protesters.
A few months later, the Hong Kong government dropped the legislation and the idea remained largely dormant for more than 15 years. Then last year, the central government in Beijing it uncovered a surprise: a national security law that he had quickly drafted and imposed on the semi-autonomous city. It entered into force on the eve of July 1.
Hong Kong authorities have since used the law and Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings to quell major protests. The organizer of the annual march said he would not try to hold one this year; three smaller groups asked the police for permission to do so, but were denied.
July 1 is a glorious day in the eyes of the Communist Party of China, marking the date that Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. The protests on that day have varied in size over the years, to as public complaints against the government increased and increased. I waned.
The 2019 protest was big. Hundreds of thousands of people marched against a proposal that would have allowed the extradition of suspected criminals to mainland China to stand trial. That same day, a group of hardline protesters stormed and smashed the legislature.
Thousands of people took to the streets last year, despite the police denying permission for a march and the security law went into effect a few hours earlier. Some set fire and ripped the cobblestones from the sidewalks and scattered them on the streets. Police arrested hundreds, including the first 10 under the new security law.
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