Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam took to the airwaves on Saturday to back the use of force by police ahead of a major anti-government march planned this weekend in the Chinese-ruled city, which has been battered by months of violent protests.
Following a week of relative calm, Sunday's march will test the strength of the pro-democracy movement. Campaigners vowed it would go ahead despite police ruling the rally illegal.
In the past, thousands of people have defied police and staged mass rallies without permission, often peaceful at the start but becoming violent at night.
The trigger for unrest in Hong Kong had been a now-withdrawn proposal to allow extradition to mainland China, as well as Taiwan and Macau. The case of a Hong Kong man accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan before fleeing back to the city was held up as an example of why it was needed.