Hong Kong protests: One million people ignore police and join illegal march on streets

0


Up to one million people took to the streets of Hong Kong today to take part in an illegal march which had been banned by the police.

Amid extraordinary scenes hundreds of thousands of people completely ignored the authorities ruling to protest in torrential rain.

They stayed out for several hours despite thunderstorms and 90mph winds to make plain their opposition to China.

Some waved the Union flag and others the US Stars and Stripes to antagonise the Chinese government.

And protesters revealed they were planning further disruption with wildcat action at the international airport over the coming days.

But there were no violent confrontations today and the rally and march passed off relatively peacefully.

The demo in the heavy rain was against being subject to the more draconian laws that exist on the Chinese mainland

 

Veteran protester, Leung Kwok-hung, who is more commonly known as “Long Hair,” was among the crowds.

He said that he believed there were more than one million people at the protest.

He said: “I think the majority of the Hong Kong population demand there be an independent investigation about all the conflicts and legislation of the extradition law.

“The first thing the government needs to do is to listen to the people and do what they demand.”

They marched past metro stations which were plastered with posters chillingly comparing last week’s violence to the horrific Chinese Tiananmen Square massacre.

The group stayed out for several hours despite thunderstorms

 

The messages said simply: “Tiananmen Square – 30 years ago. We mustn’t let history repeat itself.”

We watched as a young woman, who clearly supported the authorities, walked by angrily ripping down the pro-democracy posters.

It’s still very tense here after a week of violence which forced the world’s eighth busiest airport to close for two days.

The city is now right at the centre of a major confrontation between East and West.

A confrontation that has drawn in Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And worryingly it’s a confrontation that has seen China deploy thousands of paramilitary soldiers to a military barracks just four miles from the border.

They were carrying out exercises involving batons, riot shields and even huge electric pronged forks today.

It is said up to one million joined the rally total

If they are ever ordered to cross into Hong Kong it will be one of the most controversial days in world history.

Hong Kong is still fiercely proud of its British heritage.

They drive on the left here, they use British three pin plugs and in the city centre the pubs are called the Churchill, the Globe, the Trafalgar and the Queen Victoria.

Among those arrested in the past few days were a 14 year old schoolboy, a pizza deliveryman, an IT specialist, a semi pro footballer and a granny.

They were all normal law abiding local people who found themselves in a courtroom in Kowloon for taking part in the demonstrations which are crippling Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has said the city is on the “brink of an abyss”.

Many believe the protests have grown because ‘China doesn’t understand Hong Kong’

As we travelled around the city today we were constantly stopped by people to “thank” us for coming.

Some begged us to keep on reporting to the world “what is really happening in Hong Kong”.

Others held hand-made posters apologising for the inconvenience caused by the protests.

Sally Kim, 21, said: “We have no choice but to cause disruption – our very democracy, our very futures are at stake.

“Hong Kong is a very special place and it must remain so.

“China cannot be allowed to get more control.

“It’s just like war, we’re fighting for our future.”

The anti-extradition bill protesters demand democracy and political reform

The stress is taking its toll on every section of society.

The airline Cathay Pacific has fired two pilots and two airport workers after they took part in the protests or expressed their support on social media.

There is widespread paranoia after it was revealed several undercover police officers had infiltrated the protesters.

Meanwhile some officers have reported receiving abuse even while off duty.

One described how an adult confronted his teenage daughter at a sporting event and called her father’s work “disgusting.”

Officers have recently been criticised for being too heavy handed with one woman losing an eye after being hit by a police missile.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Alongside the messages about Tiananmen Square – in which an estimated 3,000

People were killed in 1989 – other posters show images of the blinded woman.

And thousands of coloured post-it notes with handwritten words of defiance.

One said simply Democracy, Freedom , Love, Hong Kong and then it was hashtagged You’ll never walk alone.

Another paid tribute to peace loving John Lennon by proclaiming the “Lennon Wall” above a raft of posters.

It’s been an extraordinary protest which has been going on now for two months.

But everyone is so polite.

The rallies on the streets of Hong Kong have continued for weeks

Read More

Hong Kong Protests

We found two people at 8am cleaning the walls of a metro station.

“There was a lot of tear gas fired here the other night and we wanted to clean it off,” said Adam Chan, 30.

His friend Philomen Tan, 18, added: “We just want to make the station safe again.”

Many believe the protests have grown because China doesn’t understand Hong Kong and wants to meddle further.

Just a month before the protests began, Vice-Premier Han Zheng – China’s top man in charge of Hong Kong affairs – said: “the political atmosphere in Hong Kong is changing for the better” and “Hong Kong has set on to the right path of development”.

It’s not a view widely shared here.

The protesters still have five principle demands are calls for an independent inquiry into allegations of police brutality, removal of the legal term “riot” from the unrest, and the release of all detained demonstrators.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here