Thousands March to Turn up Pressure on Hong Kong Government

Thousands March to Turn up Pressure on Hong Kong Government”

Police have fired about 10,000 rounds of tear gas since June, the city's Secretary for Security John Lee said last week.

Activists pledged, however, to maintain the momentum of the anti-government movement.

HONG KONG-Secondary school students and retirees joined forces to protest in Hong Kong on Saturday, the first of several weekend rallies planned across the city, as together they vowed to battle police brutality and unlawful arrests.

Her government has accepted only one demand - withdrawing extradition legislation that would have sent suspects to mainland China for trial.

People with children and a baby participating in a march stand in a group as they are blocked between riot police and pro-democracy protesters after tear gas was sacked by police on Salisbury Road, during a march in the Tsim Sha Tsui district to Hung Hom, in Hong Kong. "We must continue to stand out to remind the government of our unhappiness".

Hong Kong police have arrested 5,890 people as a result of the protests.

China denies interfering, says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula put in place at that time and has blamed foreign forces for fomenting unrest.

Crowds are pushing for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability but the city's pro-Beijing leadership has refused any major political concessions.

Riot police officers block the street as protesters rally outside Prince Edward MTR station in Hong Kong, China, on November 30, 2019.

In the largest of three rallies, a key thoroughfare along the waterfront on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour was packed with demonstrators, from masked protesters in all-black outfits to families and the elderly.

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"There are still five demands", he said, referring to protesters' calls that include an independent inquiry into police behavior and the implementation of universal suffrage.

Some critics on social media have said that such a committee would fall short of the independent investigation they have been demanding.

Meanwhile, China accused the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, of emboldening "radical violence" in Hong Kong by suggesting the city's leader conduct an investigation into reports of excessive use of force by police.

"Thank you, President Trump, for your big gift to Hong Kong and God bless America", shouted a speaker holding a microphone as he addressed a crowd at the start of the march.

"It has been quiet after the district elections and that is unexpected", senior citizen protester Ponn's 26-year-old daughter told Reuters.

Many wore Donald Trump masks after the President signed into law protecting human rights in Hong Kong last week.

A 70-year-old retiree in a blue aviator sunglasses and a gray tracksuit, who gave his name as Ko, said seniors could offer guidance to the younger protesters.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated accusations Monday that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act "seriously interfered" in Hong Kong's internal affairs and appeared to back up China's threats the US would bear the cost of the decision.

"Starting from day one I have been involved in this movement and there is no reason to stop now", said Ko.

"The farmers have generally supported Trump in "taking on China" but have also been clear that it had to end with a deal that gave them their market back and preferably with even higher Chinese purchases than before the trade war. I think they need it".

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