Warning Alert | Nov. 15: 2:10 p.m. EST
Protests planned at multiple locations in Hong Kong, China, Nov. 16-21. Impromptu rallies likely. Violence, transport disruptions probable.
This alert began 15 Nov 2019 19:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.
- Event: Political protests
- Location: Hong Kong
- Time Frame: Through at least Nov. 21
- Impact: Heightened security; ground transport disruptions; likely clashes, business disruptions
Activists in Hong Kong plan to stage additional anti-government protests Nov. 16-21 amid ongoing political tensions in the territory. Protests, which were originally 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. Clashes and transport disruptions associated with the demonstrations escalated significantly in early October after the Hong Kong government invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to ban face masks during unapproved demonstrations. Further escalations have occurred since Nov. 11 following the first confirmed death of a protester. Pro-government demonstrations have also been held; such gatherings may increase following the recent death of an elderly man injured during a clash with protest supporters. As of early Nov. 16, rallies have been announced at the following locations and times:
- Nov. 16: Pro-police rally outside Central Government Offices on Tim Mei Avenue, 1100-1300
- Nov. 17: Edinburgh Place 1930-2130
- Nov. 19: Landmark North, Sheung Shui, from 2100
- Nov. 21: Yuen Long Station, from 1900
Additional unannounced protests are highly likely. Violence will probably occur at many locations; activists may erect roadblocks, start fires, throw projectiles - including petrol bombs - and vandalize property. Clashes are particularly likely at Chinese University of Hong Kong campus, but fighting between protesters and police has also taken place near other university campuses. Rallies and protests will continue in business centers on Hong Kong Island, especially Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Associated marches are possible. Activists have held spontaneous "flash mob" gatherings in locations throughout the city. Protesters often target government and police buildings, as well as Mass 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 any locations where protests materialize. Police will likely use tear gas and water cannon during 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 will likely continue near demonstrations. Roadblocks, clashes, and security measures will continue to cause localized traffic and bus disruptions in areas where demonstrations are occurring. Activists are especially likely to maintain roadblocks along Tolo Highway near the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 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 will likely continue to close MTR services early as a precautionary measure; MTR service is set to be suspended at 2200 Nov. 16, and as of early Nov. 16, University Station remains closed. Attacks on MTR facilities will probably prompt further localized station closures. Networkwide service disruptions are possible.
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 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.