Thousands of protestors take to Hong Kong streets again despite China’s ‘warning’

Reuters Hong Kong | Updated on August 04, 2019 Published on August 04, 2019

Anti-extradition bill protesters are seen on the street in Hong Kong   -  REUTERS

Thousands of protesters took to Hong Kong’s streets on Sunday, a day after violent clashes between anti-government protesters and the police, and as China’s official news agency warned that Beijing will not let the situation in the Asian financial hub continue.

The Chinese-controlled city has been rocked by months of protests against a proposed Bill to allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China and a general strike aimed at bringing the city to a halt is planned for Monday.

Police said in a statement early on Sunday that they had arrested over 20 people for offences, overnight, including unlawful assembly and assault.

On Saturday, police fired multiple tear gas rounds in confrontations with black-clad activists in the city’s Kowloon area. On Sunday thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in the town of Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories brandishing colourful banners and leaflets.

Dressed in black, the protesters cheered as they called for a mass strike across Hong Kong on Monday.

“We’re trying to tell the government to (withdraw) the Extradition Bill and the police to stop the investigations and the violence,” said Gabriel Lee, a 21-year-old technology student.

By Sunday evening, some protesters had blocked roads in the area, removing railings from the kerbside and setting up baricades.

What started as an angry response to the now suspended Extradition Bill, has expanded to demands for greater democracy and the resignation of leader Carrie Lam. “Even if Carrie Lam resigns, its still not resolved. It’s all about the Communist Party, the Chinese government,” said Angie, a 24 year old, who works for a non-government organisation in the city.

China’s official news agency Xinhua wrote on Sunday that the “Central government will not sit idly by and let this situation continue. We firmly believe that Hong Kong will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges ahead.”

Hong Kong has been allowed to retain extensive freedoms, such as an independent judiciary but many residents see the extradition Bill as the latest step in a relentless march toward mainland control.

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Published on August 04, 2019
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