Anti-govt protests again erupt in Hong Kong over extradition bill

Anti-govt protests again erupt in Hong Kong over extradition bill”

Hong Kong police fired volleys of tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters on Saturday - sending tourists fleeing weeping in Kowloon - only for demonstrators to regroup and gather elsewhere during another tense, hot and restive weekend. The woman was not wearing protester gear and attire when she was arrested, and local media reported she was merely passing by the area.

The Global Times praised Lau for "dealing with the riots in Mong Kok during the 2014 Occupy Central Movement" and hoped he could likewise handle the current protest movement, which has "turned into a series of riots targeting the Hong Kong government" in the Chinese Communist paper's view.

The protests have continued on Saturday, with demonstrators occupying the arrivals hall at the global airport for a second day and marches in the inner city.

The protests also come at a sensitive time for President Xi Jinping, who after removing presidential term limits past year effectively made himself leader for life.

One group of protesters arrived in the Tai Wai area, where they dismantled railings along the road to set up barricades and chanted "triads, triads" at nearby police, in a reference to the territory's infamous criminal gangs.

"It will be no good for Hong Kong if everyone is scared and no one dares to come out", Wong said.

Protesters discuss tactics during a standoff with police.

Authorities have arrested over 600 people since the rallies began in June.

Lam defended her government's handling of the protests in a phone call with Britain's foreign secretary, Dominic Raab. She said she was anxious about escalating violence, but added that "the protesters were just trying to protect themselves against police violence".

Thousands of activists also occupied the airport arrivals hall for a third day, while others turned out earlier at a downtown park.

China has also targeted the city's corporate giants, demanding that the city's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways suspend staff involved in the demonstrations.

In the morning, in two separate protests, small groups of elderly Hong Kongers and families marched near the financial centre's business district.

Young people have been at the forefront of recent protests, anxious about the erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong, while also concerned with issues such as wealth disparities in the city. Both marches and the airport protests were peaceful.

"There are clashes in the recent protests and many parents are anxious", said Fion Yim, 35, representative of the organising committee for what was billed as the family protest.

In a separate memo on Saturday, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg told staff that in order to comply with the new regulatory demands it would not allow any crew supporting protests in Hong Kong to staff flights to the mainland from midnight on August 10.

The bill has been suspended, but protesters have stepped up their demands and are now calling for greater democracy and Lam's resignation.

Opponents of the proposed extradition law said it would hurt the independence of Hong Kong courts and expose residents to political cases.

The protests have been condemned by the central government in Beijing, which has accused foreign powers of fueling unrest.

They also denied protesters a permit for a second protest in the city's working class neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po, but a rally was also underway there.

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