The Civil Human Rights Front, which has been at the forefront of defending human rights in Hong Kong for more than a decade, organizes the July 1 march every year to express various demands for democracy, and tens of thousands of Hong Kong people participate enthusiastically every year. However, due to the arrest and imprisonment of key members of the FSD and the alleged violation of the Societies Ordinance by the police, the FSD will not be able to apply to host the July 1 march again this year.
The main reason is that the police have already defined the PFDJ as an unregistered association, so it is difficult to legally apply for organizing a march, and there is also a restriction on gathering orders.
Chung Chung Fai also said that FRODEBU was established in 2002 and has continuously held July 1 parade from 2003 to 2019, last year for the first time the police opposed it, so it will not be held this year. The first time last year, the police opposed it, so it will not be held this year. He said that the FDD is just a platform for different groups to voice out, and most of the group members have already quit the FDD. The majority of the group members have already withdrawn from the FDD. Chung Chung Fai believes that although the FDD is not disbanded, it will not engage in any more activities. The historical task of not touching the “Hong Kong version of national security law”, such as the pursuit of dual universal suffrage and improving governance, has been completed.
Chung revealed that before Chan Ho-hwan was sentenced to 18 months in prison for participating in an unauthorized rally in 2019 on May 28, the FDD had a meeting and decided to find him as a temporary convener, mainly responsible for “guarding”, and will meet again in September according to the constitution to elect a convener.
Last year, the PFDJ bid to organize the July 1 march from Victoria Park, but the police opposed it for the first time. Then the then deputy convenor, Chan Ho-hwan, launched a march against the “Hong Kong National Security Law” in his personal capacity, during which there was a clash between the police and the public.
He was also charged with other charges of “unlawful assembly”. The former convener of the Democratic Front, District Councilor Sham Tze Kit, was also detained pending trial for his involvement in the democratic primary election.
According to Sing Tao Daily, in late April this year, PFDJ received a letter from the police stating that PFDJ had applied for registration as an association in July 2006, which was approved and accepted, but after applying to the Director of Societies for deregistration in September of the same year, it was still operating as an association, allegedly violating the provisions of the Societies Ordinance. The police also asked the FSD to provide written information, including the reasons for not re-applying for registration as an association, as well as information on all activities and expenditures and sources of funding from September 2006 to the present, but the FSD’s convenor, Chan Ho-hwan, who is currently in prison, refused. Police Commissioner Tang Ping-keung responded that the FSD had not submitted the requested information and did not rule out enforcement action.
According to RTHK, the chairman of the League of Social Democrats (LSD), one of the members of the pro-democracy groups, Wong Ho Ming, said that the secretariat of the pro-democracy groups has not been operating since the imprisonment of the convenor of the pro-democracy groups, Chan Ho Wan, and it is difficult to apply for a march in the name of the pro-democracy groups.
Wong Ho Ming said that some civil groups will discuss applying for the 7.1 march, but the police are expected to reject it on the grounds of epidemic. The League of Social Democrats and other groups had discussed and planned to open street stations in various districts on 7.1 to let the public voice out, and said that the street stations would abide by the 4-person limit gathering order, and would not encourage the public to assemble. However, if they are still restricted by the police, they will argue their case and emphasize that even if the march and rally are banned, civil society cannot remain voiceless.