By: 思穎妹妹/Si Wing the Younger Sister
A lot of journalists asked us why the Silent Night March was cancelled despite obtaining a letter of no objection, and why we did not appeal against the HKPF’s changing of the time and route of our march, we decided to answer the queries in public, and let everyone judge who is right and who is wrong.
The purpose of organising rallies is to pressure to the government;
But what's more important, is to ensure every participant can return home safely.
However, the route the HKPF specified is very dangerous.
After serious consideration, to ensure everyone's safety, we have no choice but to cancel the march.
Wong Chi-wai, Dep Dist Commander (Yau Tsim), told the public in the HKPF press conference on 23 Dec that, the HKPF changed of time and route of our march on the ground of public safety, despite a letter of no objection was issued.
When we made our decision to cancel the march, he appreciated is and said it was a responsible act.
We thank the HKPF for the compliment, because the reason behind us cancelling the march was public safety exactly.
But if public safety was their concern, we would like to ask, why did they change our route to such a dangerous one?
Has the HKPF ever considered safety issues for the protesters?
They used to be 'Asia's finest' year ago.
Where has their professionalism gone?
Below is our plan on the march when we applied for a letter of no objection on 16 Dec:
Estimated no. of participants: 20,000
Prefect on duty: 200+
It was planned as a circuit march.
The route would start from Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, head East along Salisbury Road, return at Mody Lane (outside of Emperor Centre), head West along Salisbury Road, and end at the cross-road between Salisbury Road and Nathan Road.
However, when we discussed the letter of no objection with the HKPF, they told us that, it was estimated 2000 people would be dismissed from a concert from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 21:00, the Fire Services Department expressed concern about the crowdedness in Haiphong Road in case an emergency happens nearby.
So we changed the route on 20 Dec.
The start point was changed to Salisbury Garden, then head East along Salisbury Road, return at Mody Lane (outside of Emperor Centre), head West along Salisbury Road, and end at the cross-road between Salisbury Road and Nathan Road.
At 5 pm, 22 Dec, the HKPF notified us that, they issued a letter of no objection, but the time was changed to 1800-2200, and the route was changed to starting from Salisbury Garden, head along Salisbury Road, pass through Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade aside of the waterfront, and end at Hong Kong Coliseum.
(Editor's note: scroll down for part 2