Quantcast
Connect with us

Watch: Hong Kong protesters gather for mass rally — in test of pro-democracy movement’s support

Published

on

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong democracy activists gathered Sunday for a major rally to show the city’s leaders their protest movement still attracts wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles with riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.

ADVERTISEMENT

Communist-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone towards the protesters, decrying the “terrorist-like” actions of a violent hardcore minority among the demonstrators.

Despite the near-nightly clashes with police, the movement has won few concessions from Beijing or the city’s unelected leadership.

On Tuesday, protesters blocked passengers from boarding flights at the city’s airport and later assaulted two men they accused of being Chinese spies.

The images damaged a campaign that until then had largely targeted the police or government institutions, and prompted an apology from some of the protest groups.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sunday’s rally at the city’s Victoria Park is an attempt to wrestle the narrative of the protest back.

It is a “rational, non-violent” demonstration, according to organisers the Civil Human Rights Front, the driving force behind record-breaking rallies in June and July that saw hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets.

Police have given permission for the rally to go ahead but banned a proposed march.

ADVERTISEMENT

Protesters flouted that order, flooding the streets on Sunday afternoon as they marched through the heart of Hong Kong island despite driving rain.

“If Beijing and Hong Kong’s tactic is to wait for our movement to die, they are wrong… we will soldier on,” CHRF spokeswoman Bonnie Leung told reporters.

China’s propaganda apparatus has seized on the weeks of violence, with state media churning out a deluge of damning articles, pictures and videos.

ADVERTISEMENT

State media also ran images of military personnel and armoured personnel carriers across the border in Shenzhen, prompting the United States to warn Beijing against sending in troops.

Analysts say any intervention by Chinese security forces would be a reputational and economic disaster for China.

Blame game

ADVERTISEMENT

During smaller protest marches on Saturday — which ended without large-scale clashes — many protesters chanted “See you in Victoria Park!” as they left the streets.

The park has long been used as the staging point for the city’s previous democracy protests.

The latest rallies were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.

Under a deal signed with Britain, authoritarian China agreed to allow Hong Kong to keep its unique freedoms when it was handed back in 1997.

ADVERTISEMENT

But many Hong Kongers feel those freedoms are being eroded, especially since China’s hardline president Xi Jinping came to power.

Historian Rana Mitter puts latest Hong Kong protests in context

In the last two months millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters.

Battles between police firing tear gas and rubber bullets — and hardcore protesters using rocks, Molotov cocktails and slingshots — have since become routine in the city.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both sides trade the blame for provoking the violence.

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.

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

On Friday, Cathay Pacific announced the shock resignation of CEO Rupert Hogg after the carrier was excoriated by Beijing because some staff supported the pro-democracy protests.

A day later the “Big Four” accountancy firms scrambled to distance themselves from an advert placed in a newspaper purportedly by employees saying they supported the protests.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Progressives say GM’s decision to cut off employee health insurance ‘yet another reason why we need Medicare for All’

Published

on

General Motors' decision Tuesday to stop paying healthcare premiums for nearly 50,000 of the company's striking workers offered a powerful case for why Medicare for All is necessary to ensure stable and quality insurance as a right for everyone in the United States.

That was the argument advanced by single-payer supporters in the wake of GM's move, which union leaders and others quickly denounced as a cruel intimidation tactic designed to break the United Auto Workers strike.

Continue Reading

Facebook

New documents reveal the military has paid Trump’s Scotland resort more than $180,000

Published

on

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. military has spent more than $180,000 at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland while service members have been stopped at the Glasgow Prestwick airport, according to a Pentagon letter sent to the House Oversight Committee.

Politico first reported on and published the letter on Wednesday.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

Published

on

Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image