Hong Kong protesters rally at first legal demonstration since mask ban

Over 130,000 protesters wave American flags, plead for US to step in

Hongkongers mass at rally on Oct. 14.

Hongkongers mass at rally on Oct. 14. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Monday (Oct. 14), well over 100,000 pro-democracy activists rallied at the first legal protest in Hong Kong since its leader Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) imposed a mask ban under the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance.

After Lam introduced the mask ban on October 5, protesters continued to cover their faces, refusing to cooperate despite a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Contrary to the protests that escalated into chaos on Sunday, the mostly young Hong Kong protesters gathered peacefully on Monday evening at Chater Garden in the Admiralty district near government headquarters, reported Liberty Times.

Many chanted "Fight for Freedom, Fight for Hong Kong" while waving American flags, according to CNA. The organizers estimated that more than 130,000 people participated in the police-approved rally.

Protesters plead for help from US.

Speakers at the rally proclaimed that Hong Kong is determined to fight for its democracy and called on U.S. senators to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would require Washington to evaluate the state of autonomy in Hong Kong every year, reported The Straits Times. The bill, if passed, would also prohibit Hong Kong officials accused of brutality against protesters from entering the U.S.