A 20-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in Admiralty near the government headquarters after he was found carrying a chemical that can be used for a smoke bomb.
The man, who claimed to be a student, had one kilogram of potassium chlorate and other suspicious goods in his belongings when the police stopped him for a check at the Admiralty Centre.
Following the check, which came as protesters gathered outside LegCo to vent their anger over a controversial copyrights bill, the man was arrested on charges of possession of dangerous goods.
The police said in a media briefing late Wednesday that smoke bombs are usually used to create visual effects during movie shoots, and pointed out that it takes only two grams to generate a large amount of smoke.
If a one-kilogram smoke bomb is set off in a public place, it can cause panic among people, Ming Pao Daily News quoted a police spokesperson as saying.
The police said that besides potassium chlorate, the arrestee was also carrying a lighter, a mask, a balaclava, gloves and spare clothing.
The 20-year-old was said to be heading toward the government headquarters when he was detained.
Ming Pao cited sources as saying that the man was earlier arrested in March this year during a protest in Yuen Long against parallel goods traders from the mainland.
At that time, he was found to be carrying a bottle of chilli oil.
During a protest organized by online freedom advocacy group Keyboard Frontline outside the LegCo building Wednesday, many young people showed up wearing black.
Police officers were seen patrolling along the exits on Tamar Road, gates outside the protest area and areas between the Tamar Park and the footbridge of the Admiralty Centre.
When Emily Lau, chairperson of Democratic Party (DP) and party member Helena Wong Pik-wan showed up at the protest area to explain their group’s stance on the proposed revision of the Copyright Ordinance, the pair was booed by protesters and Lau’s speech was interrupted several times.
Lau and Wong had to be escorted out of the area by nearly 20 security guards.
Protesters were unhappy that the DP did not join in with the filibustering at a LegCo meeting last Wednesday.
Lau explained that her party legislators avoid underhand tactics as it is the duty of lawmakers to engage in a healthy debate.
Keyboard Frontline spokesperson Glacier Kwong said there were 700 people at the protest on Wednesday, which was in line with their estimate considering the cold temperature and the low level of public awareness about the copyrights bill.
Lawmakers who do not oppose the government’s proposed revision of the ordinance will pay a price at the LegCo election next year, she said.
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