Thousands of people have rallied in support of the Hong Kong police as the semi-autonomous territory readies for another day of protests on the anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China.

The large crowd filled a park in front of the legislature Sunday and chanted “Thank you” to the police, who have been criticized for using tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes with demonstrators that left dozens injured on June 12.

Nearby, police have erected tall barriers and shut off access to a harbor-front square ahead of an annual flag-raising Monday morning that protesters have said they would disrupt. The ceremony marks the 22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997.

A major protest march is planned for Monday afternoon.

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