The anti-government protesters in Hong Kong plan to rally outside a controversial station where high-speed trains leave for mainland China as they try to turn up pressure on the city’s pro-Beijing leaders.
The rally is the first major protest planned since last Monday’s unprecedented storming of parliament by largely young, masked protesters, a move that has plunged the financial hub further into crisis.
Hong Kong has been rocked by a month of largely peaceful protests as well as a series of separate violent confrontations with police, sparked by a law that would have allowed extraditions to China.
The bill has since been postponed in response to the backlash but that has done little to quell public anger which has evolved into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms in the city.
Protesters are demanding the bill be scrapped totally, an independent inquiry into police use of tear gas and rubber bullets, an amnesty for those arrested and for the city’s unelected leader Carrie Lam to step down.
Beijing has thrown its full support behind Lam, calling on Hong Kong police to pursue anyone involved in the parliament storming and other clashes.
Sunday’s rally, first mooted on encrypted messaging apps and online forums, is being billed as an opportunity to explain to the mainlanders in the city what the protest movement is about.
It is the first rally to take place in Kowloon, across the harbour from the main island, and will begin at 3:00 pm (0700 GMT) in the Tsim Sha Tsui district, which is hugely popular with mainland Chinese tourists.
Inside the mainland, where news and information is heavily censored, the protests have been portrayed as a primarily violent, foreign-funded plot to destabilise the motherland.
'I hope this march can tell mainland people what we are fighting for and plant a seed that opposes the tyranny,' one user wrote on the Reddit-like LIHKG forum.
Sunday’s rally is not being organised by the same group behind three massive peaceful marches, making it difficult to predict expected crowd size or the tactics of the demonstrators.
The protest will later march to West Kowloon, a recently opened multi-million dollar station that links to China’s high-speed rail network.