Protesters back on HK streets
Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, after a rare lull in violence, as residents took to the streets chanting “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”.
The protest in the bustling shopping district of Tsim Tsa Tsui came after hundreds of people had marched to the US consulate to show “gratitude” for US support for the demonstrations that have roiled the China-ruled financial hub for six months.
Shops and businesses in the area shuttered early as the police sprayed volleys of tear gas at protesters, including some elderly residents and others with their pets, as they marched past the city’s Kowloon waterfront, home to luxury hotels and shopping malls.
The police made several arrests as the tear gas sent hundreds fleeing towards the harbour.
Hong Kong had enjoyed relative calm for the past week since local elections last Sunday delivered an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates.
Activists pledged, however, to maintain the momentum of the anti-government movement that has seen protests roil the former British colony since June, at times forcing government offices, businesses, schools and even the international airport to shut.
Waving posters that read “Never forget why you started” and black flags with the logo “Revolution now”, protesters occupied several main roads on Sunday, with young residents and families with children filling the nearby streets.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters waved American flags, with some donning Donald Trump logo hats and t-shirts, as they unfurled a banner depicting the US President standing astride a tank with a US flag behind him.
Another banner read: “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong.”
Trump this week signed into law congressional legislation that supported protesters in the China-ruled city, despite angry objections from Beijing.
“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.