July 22, 2021 | 1: 58am | Updated July 22, 2021 | 1: 59am

HONG KONG — Hong Kong police on Thursday arrested five trade union members and a court denied bail for four editors and journalists held on charges of endangering national security, as part of a widening crackdown on dissent in the city.

The five who were arrested are members of the General Association of Hong Kong Speech Therapists, according to local media reports.

The association published three children’s books that authorities apparently suspect are metaphors for the political crisis. The books feature stories that revolve around a village of sheep that has to deal with wolves from a different village. The sheep take action like going on strike or escaping by boat, according to the synopses published on the association’s website.

Police confirmed they arrested two men and three women from a trade union, but did not identify them or the union.

Police said that they are suspected of conspiring to publish, distribute, display or copy seditious publications with the intent to incite hatred, violence and other non-law-abiding acts towards the Hong Kong authorities and the judiciary by the public, in particular young children.

Police said that also froze 160,000 Hong Kong dollars ($20,600) in assets linked to the union.

On Thursday, a Hong Kong court denied bail to four top editors and journalists from the now-defunct Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper. They were arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to coll