Resurgent Hong Kong protesters stage huge rally, violence erupts again

Resurgent Hong Kong protesters stage huge rally, violence erupts again
  • Clock-gray 18:09
  • calendar-gray 21 October 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Police and pro-democracy protesters battled on the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday as thousands of people rallied in several districts in defiance of attempts by the authorities to crack down on demonstrators.

After two weeks of relative calm in the five-month-long crisis, the rally drew broad-based support from regular citizens including young families and the elderly.

But a more radical faction of largely young protesters later clashed with riot police.

Banks and other businesses linked to China were attacked and bonfires lit on Nathan Road, a main road running through the heart of the Kowloon peninsula. Police fired volleys of tear gas and baton charged demonstrators, and also hosed them down from water cannon.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which had failed to obtain police approval to hold the march, said about 350,000 people took part. The police gave no estimate, saying they deemed the march to be illegal.

“You can see Hong Kongers won’t easily give up their right to demonstrate. Today’s turnout is more than I expected,” said Daniel Yeung, an unemployed protester who like many others wore a mask in defiance of a ban on wearing them.

WORLD NEWS

OCTOBER 20, 2019 / 6:13 AM / UPDATED 8 HOURS AGO

Resurgent Hong Kong protesters stage huge rally, violence erupts again

Anne Marie RoantreeMarius Zaharia

6 MIN READ

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Police and pro-democracy protesters battled on the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday as thousands of people rallied in several districts in defiance of attempts by the authorities to crack down on demonstrators.

After two weeks of relative calm in the five-month-long crisis, the rally drew broad-based support from regular citizens including young families and the elderly.

But a more radical faction of largely young protesters later clashed with riot police.

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Banks and other businesses linked to China were attacked and bonfires lit on Nathan Road, a main road running through the heart of the Kowloon peninsula. Police fired volleys of tear gas and baton charged demonstrators, and also hosed them down from water cannon.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which had failed to obtain police approval to hold the march, said about 350,000 people took part. The police gave no estimate, saying they deemed the march to be illegal.

“You can see Hong Kongers won’t easily give up their right to demonstrate. Today’s turnout is more than I expected,” said Daniel Yeung, an unemployed protester who like many others wore a mask in defiance of a ban on wearing them.

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“You can see that as long as people keep coming out in large numbers we are safe and can keep fighting,” he said.

Hong Kong, an international financial center, has been battered by months of huge and often violent protests over fears that Beijing is tightening its grip on the territory, the worst political crisis since colonial ruler Britain handed it back to China in 1997.

On Sunday, massive crowds occupied thoroughfares in several districts in Kowloon and moved northwards, smashing a number of businesses linked to China including banks, a bookshop and other stores.

Protesters threw petrol bombs at the Tsim Sha Tsui police station after police inside fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators. One activist urinated onto the police gate.

Bonfires were also set as riot police with shields and batons charged at the crowds, fired multiple volleys of tear gas.

Police used water cannon trucks to disperse protesters, spraying jets of blue dye into the crowds and sending hundreds fleeing. Police have used the dye to identify protesters.

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