Published: Sat, August 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hong Kong Protesters Flood Streets for Eleventh Consecutive Weekend

Hong Kong Protesters Flood Streets for Eleventh Consecutive Weekend

In Beijing, You Wenze, a Chinese government spokesman, condemned statements from United States politicians supportive of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement as "a gross interference in China's internal affairs".

Another weekend of protests is underway in Hong Kong as Mainland Chinese police.

Anti-extradition bill protesters gather at Victoria Park during a rally to demand democracy and political reforms in Hong Kong.

Sunday's massive turnout, which organizers put at 1.7 million, showed that the movement still has widespread support despite chaotic scenes last week when protesters occupied the Chinese-ruled city's airport.

While police had granted approval for the rally, they didn't approve an accompanying march. Hong Kong, is the top spot in helping to find capital for Chinese companies.

Anger has been sharpened among protesters by the perceived heavy-handedness of the police who have used tear gas, baton charges and rubber bullets in incidents that have pinballed across social media.

"Today has been peaceful, which is exactly what Carrie Lam asked for", Mr Sham said, referring to Hong Kong's Chief Executive. "They attack and harass protesters and beat innocent citizens and the government hasn't done anything to stop them". "They aren't protecting us".

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the worldwide finance hub into crisis, with communist-ruled mainland China taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like". The crowd in Victoria Park, where the rally started, was peaceful and included elderly people as well as the middle aged, young people and families, with some parents carrying toddlers.

It follows two months of increasingly violent clashes between protestors and police that closed Hong Kong International Airport on multiple occasions and prompted warnings from Beijing.

Over 700 people have been arrested since the protests began in June.

Millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters.

Chinese state-run media has carried videos showing armored troop carriers driving to the border city of Shenzhen.

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Analysts say any intervention by Chinese security forces would be a disaster for China's reputation and economy.

No tear gas was sacked on Saturday night during a brief standoff between police and protesters outside a police station in the Mong Kok district - which was noteworthy after the increasingly violent confrontations in the last 11 weeks.

Supporter of the anti-extradition bill cleans the ticket machine as part of the Sham Shui Po Station Cleaning Campaign in Hong Kong, China on Monday.

The Hong Kong government responded to the protests by emphasizing that they had been "generally peaceful" and claiming that their priority had been "to restore social order as soon as possible". Police said they fired one beanbag round.

Some say the violence has driven the pro-democracy movement in an uncomfortable direction.

"They do not have a permit to stage this rally here", Fung told reporters.

"We want one China".

"If you ask me, I personally hope there will be a quick resolution to this from the government so we don't have to protest any more".

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.

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

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

A spokesman for China's ceremonial legislature has condemned statements from US lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

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