Protests planned at multiple locations in Hong Kong, China, Jan. 17-20. Impromptu rallies likely. Clashes, transport disruptions possible.

This alert affects Hong Kong SAR

This alert began 16 Jan 2020 17:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Jan 2020 16:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Protests
  • Location(s): Hong Kong (map)
  • Time Frame: Jan. 17-20
  • Impact: Heightened security measures, ground transport disruptions; possible clashes and business disruptions

Summary
Activists in Hong Kong plan to stage additional anti-government protests Jan. 17-20 amid ongoing political tensions in the territory. Protests, which were prompted by a planned revision to Hong Kong's extradition law, have expanded into a generalized movement calling for political reforms and independent investigations into alleged police brutality, among other demands. Pro-government demonstrations have also been held. Rallies have been announced at the following locations and times:

  • Jan. 17: Rally at Tai Po Waterfront Park from 1800.
  • Jan. 19: Rally at Chater Garden from 1400; protest march planned from Chater Road to SOGO Causeway Bay from 1500.
  • Jan. 20: Rally at Ginza Square, Tin Shui Wai, from 1800.


Additional unannounced protests are also likely. Violence could occur at some locations; activists may erect roadblocks, start fires, throw projectiles - including petrol bombs - and vandalize property. The use of other improved explosives to target police personnel cannot be ruled out. Intermittent rallies and protests are possible in business centers on Hong Kong Island, especially Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Protesters may target government and police buildings, as well as Metro Transit Railway (MTR) facilities and businesses they perceive as supportive of the Hong Kong government or Beijing. Groups of protesters may attack individuals who criticize their actions or photograph demonstrations.

Authorities will continue to deploy security personnel to locations where protests occur. Police will likely use tear gas and water cannon during some encounters with protesters. In some instances, police have used live ammunition as warning shots or after being attacked. Fast-moving clashes are likely in areas where demonstrations take place. Fighting is most likely to occur if demonstrators attempt to gather despite police objections, surround or enter government property or police stations, bypass security cordons, or linger beyond approved protest times.

Ground transport disruptions are possible near demonstrations. Roadblocks, clashes, and security measures may cause localized traffic and bus disruptions in areas where demonstrations are occurring. Localized business disruptions may occur at locations throughout the territory if protesters block roads near offices or gather in shopping centers and commercial buildings amid clashes. Officials may close MTR services early as a precautionary measure.

Advice
Avoid all announced or proposed protest actions due to the potential for violence. Exercise caution near likely protest locations. Monitor local media for protest activity, as organizers may not announce plans in advance. Consider working from home or organizing early-release arrangements on days when large demonstrations are taking place. Confirm the availability of transport, as rail and traffic disruptions are possible; allow additional time to reach destinations. Plan for increased security measures and localized transport disruptions near demonstrations. Follow all police instructions. Avoid politically sensitive conversations in public areas, and do not take photographs of protesters or police activity. Immediately leave the area and shelter in a secure, non-government building if violence erupts.

Resources
Hong Kong Metro Transit Railway: www.mtr.com.hk
Hong Kong International Airport: www.hongkongairport.com