After nearly two weeks of relative calm in Hong Kong surrounding the pro-democracy camp’s landslide victory in last week’s elections, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in renewed anti-government demonstrations on Sunday.
Protesters spilled out of railway stations – some waving American flags, as they began chanting “Hongkongers, take revenge!”
As the day turned to evening, things rapidly devolved into all too familiar stand-offs with the police amid rioting and vandalism, resulting in the deployment of tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd-control measures, according to SCMP.
And while the protests have been largely peaceful – with many families bringing children as they marched down the waterfront promenade, packs of radicals began hurling smoke bombs and bricks at police, smashing restaurants and shops in Whampoa, and vandalizing the local railway station. A gasoline bomb was thrown at a police van at one point.
Defiant demonstrators said the massive turnout for the Sunday procession – titled “Do not forget why we started” – demonstrated their determination not just to savour the electoral victory, but also to keep up the protests, which will enter their seventh month next week, until all their demands were met.
“We want to let the younger protesters know that they are not alone,” said KC, a 35-year old man who joined the demonstration with his son, who is in Primary Six.
“We cannot pretend and act as if everything is normal just because the pro-democracy camp has scored a victory in the district council elections.” –SCMP
Protesters have maintained five demands – the first one of which has been satisfied after Hong Kong leadership withdrew a controversial extradition bill that sparked the protests. The other demands have not been satisfied; an independent inquiry into police’s use of force, retracting the riot label for the events of June 12, amnesty for arrested protesters and implementation of universal suffrage (via SCMP).
At the Tsim Sha Tsui march, tensions soon flared when crowds deviated from the approved 1.2km route and flooded the streets.
Police raised the blue flag warning protesters they were taking part in an illegal assembly by doing so.
Rounds of tear gas and other projectiles, including pepper balls, were fired at the packed crowd, whose number included the elderly and young people. The crowd control measures were targeted at both ends of Salisbury Road shortly before 5pm. –SCMP
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters marched to the US consulate waving American flags to show ‘gratitude’ for US support, after President Trump signed a Human Rights bill into law designed to show solidarity with the pro-democracy movement.
At one point they sang the US National Anthem while waving signs that read “Make Hong Kong Great Again.” Another shows Trump standing atop a tank with ‘Trump’ stamped on the front and side.
“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 reaffirms and amends the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, detailing U.S. policy toward Hong Kong and ordering an assessment of the political developments there, among other things,” according to the WSJ.
Obviously the CIA sent in their shortest operative, as Beijing continues to accuse the West of stoking discord.