Despite police objecting the march, making the protests officially illegal, anger over the arrest of several prominent pro-democracy figures and lawmakers kept turnout high. The march was originally organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, who previously organized 3 record-breaking marches of 1-2 million participants without incident. Critics argued the police's high-profile arrests amounted to white terror to deter further protests and intimidate the public on the 13th week of unrest.
With roads shut or taken over by protesters, some vehicles were able to get through as protesters opened roadblocks for them to pass.
Some protesters ended their march at Chater Garden in Central, but breakaway groups continued west hoping to reach the China Liaison Office. The group decided not to proceed due to heavy police presence, so the sea of people turned back and blocked even more streets towards Government Headquarters in Admiralty.
Protesters on the bridge urged their compatriots on the ground to open their umbrellas as a surveillance helicopter hovered above.
With roads blocked, the bus company moved their vehicles out of the Exchange Square bus terminus even if it meant driving in the opposite direction.