Saturday, 21 September, 2019

Dueling protests rattle Hong Kong in 10th week of unrest

Shenzhen was dragged into the unrest after Chinese state-run media reported that elements of the People's Armed Police were assembling there Dueling protests rattle Hong Kong in 10th week of unrest
Ginger Lawrence | 19 August, 2019, 08:13

The federal government has been warned not to meddle with China's affairs with Hong Kong after nearly three months of pro-democracy protests. Protesters that day clashed with police, blocked passengers from boarding flights, and attacked two suspected spies from mainland China, including one reporter for the Chinese state outlet Global Times .

Sunday's action, which organisers the Civil Human Rights Front said drew more than 1.7 million in the largest rally in weeks, was billed as a return to the "peaceful" origins of the leaderless protest movement.

On Sunday, You Wenze, spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress, warned US politicians to stay out of China's internal affairs in Hong Kong.

Many demonstrators said they are anxious that their freedoms will continue to erode as China's Communist Party-ruled central government keeps flexing its muscle in Hong Kong, the former British colony that was given back to China in 1997 and has since become a global financial hub.

Violent clashes between hard-line protesters and police have broken out frequently this summer in the hours after peaceful marches and rallies.

Police granted approval for the rally but did not approve an accompanying march.

Congress also has the power to pass legislation affecting Hong Kong's relationship with the United States in ways which could further erode the territory's reputation for stability and rule of law.

Beyond suspending the extradition bill, Beijing and city leader Carrie Lam have shown no desire to meet key demands such as an inquiry into police violence, the complete withdrawal of the bill and an amnesty.

Hong Kong Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing has also been very vocal in his support for protesters. going to protest sites and reaching out to young people.

CTV News Toronto tried to speak to many pro-China protestors, but many would not speak to on camera.

Others said "The only place I want pepper is in my noodle soup", "SOS: please save HongKong" and "No China extradition".

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Beijing has turned the screws on Hong Kong's businesses, pressuring them to toe the line and condemn the protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters joined a mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, filling major thoroughfares in heavy rain in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.

Across the harbor in Kowloon's Mong Kok district, a group of protesters gathered outside the local police station, shouting angry slogans, flashing laser pointers and throwing eggs, but left shortly before a group of riot police showed up to clear some barricades on Nathan Road.

"Without freedom, my son will not have hope", said the father, adding that he was there to "fight for Hong Kong".

Student Harley Ho says: "We will stand here, we will take action, until they respond to us".

In Beijing, You Wenze, a spokesman for China's ceremonial legislature, condemned statements from U.S. legislators supportive of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

She said only a few protesters had used violence, sparingly, and that it was brought on by pressure from authorities and police.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the global finance hub into crisis and communist-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like". And with the ruling Communist Party preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, the crisis in Hong Kong has come at a sensitive time.

It was also investigating reports of a staff letter supporting the anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Demonstrators attend a rally at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, Aug. 18, 2019.

"We respect the rights of community to express their opinion in calm and legal way, but we won't tolerate those who break the law or those who behave in an antisocial or violent manner", said a police spokesman in Australian state Victoria, via e-mail.