Hong Kong authorities have arrested at least 86 people after they were reported to have held an unauthorized meeting and participated in a rally in a popular business district where they chanted pro-democracy slogans during the National China Day holiday.

According to authorities, the 86 people were reportedly arrested at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. And 74 of them were arrested on suspicion of participating in an unauthorized assembly at Causeway Bay.

Among the detainees were four district councilmen who were reportedly placed under arrest for resisting authorities’ demands to disperse.

A pro-democracy protester argues with the police before a protest urging the release of 12 Hong Kong activists, detained on the Chinese mainland, on Oct.1, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Reuters reported that the four members of the League of Social Democrats, led by activist Leung Kwok-hung, better known as “Long Hair,” marched holding a banner that read, “There is no national day celebration, only national mourning.”

Those who defied the authorities’ orders emphasized that they had the right to demonstrate and some claimed not to fear the so-called national security law imposed on the territory at the end of June.

This law condemns anything that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers subversion, separatism, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, and can impose even life sentences.

Some of the protesters chanted “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time,” an emblematic slogan used by pro-democracy protesters but which was banned by the Hong Kong government for allegedly promoting secessionist sentiments, others also chanted “Disband the police.”

The slogans issued also urged people to join the protests in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay business district. At least 6,000 police were deployed on the streets, outnumbering the protesters, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

The  indicates that on the occasion of the commemoration of National China Day, the Civil Front for Human Rights prepared an event to express its opposition to the government in relation to the controversial security law imposed by the Chinese mainland and the arrest of 12 Hong Kongers who attempted to flee to Taiwan.

However, the Hong Kong authorities ended up banning the meeting, alleging reasons of security and public health due to the pandemic caused by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.

According to The Associated Press, another 20 people were also sanctioned for violating the rules of social distancing, which prohibit public gatherings of more than four people.

The National Day celebrating the founding of China has become a day of protest in Hong Kong by those who advocate autonomy and democracy in the semi-autonomous city. The national security law now in effect, violates the commitments Beijing made to the United Kingdom with respect to its sovereignty after Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony in 1997.