Monday, 23 September, 2019


Massive turnout at march in latest Hong Kong protest

Massive turnout at march in latest Hong Kong protest Massive turnout at march in latest Hong Kong protest
Bennie Garza | 19 August, 2019, 04:07

Police stepped in to maintain order in Calgary on Saturday as pro-Hong Kong and pro-Beijing protesters faced off.

A pro-China bystander is removed by police during a rally supporting the Hong Kong democracy movement at the Victorian State Library.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis, with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles against riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.

Chinese state media said the paramilitary exercises were not directly related to the unrest in Hong Kong.

It is a "rational, non-violent" demonstration, according to organisers the Civil Human Rights Front, the driving force behind record-breaking rallies in June and July that saw hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets.

"It's been a long day and we're very exhausted, but to see so many people out in the rain marching for Hong Kong gives strength to everyone", said Danny Tam, a 28-year-old graphic designer. Another weekend of protests is underway in Hong Kong as Mainland Chinese pol.

Previous bans on marches have been ignored by protesters, leading to clashes with riot police.

But protests have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.

Battles between police firing tear gas and rubber bullets - and hardcore protesters using rocks, Molotov cocktails and slingshots - have since become routine in an worldwide finance hub once renowned for stability.

There was a brief stand-off on Saturday night between police and protesters outside a police station in the Mong Kok district. When stragglers convened outside a government complex in the late evening, other protesters urged them to go home.

The images damaged a movement that until then had largely only targeted the police or government institutions, and prompted some soul-searching among protesters.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the global finance hub into crisis, with communist-ruled mainland China taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like".

Quarts reporter Mary Hui is in Hong Kong.

Opinions among the protesters have diverged over the billowing violence, which has seen hardcore protesters using rocks, Molotov cocktails and slingshots against the police.

More than 300,000 Canadians live in Hong Kong and the federal government has said it's working on contingency plans to assist those in the region.

"There are some expressing extreme views", rally-goer Ray Cheng, 30, told AFP.

With Beijing moving troops to the border, he said he hoped that China's President Xi would realise that potentially sending troops into Hong Kong was "not the way out". "If we can arrest more and more because they are undertaking illegal acts, so be it". "I really hope the government can listen to us".

The bill has since been suspended indefinitely, but not yet killed completely.

Among them were members of Melbourne's Uyghur community as well as Tibetan and Vietnamese groups, carrying flags, posters and signs reading 'We love Hong Kong!

On Friday, Cathay Pacific announced the shock resignation of CEO Rupert Hogg after the carrier was excoriated by Beijing because some staff supported the pro-democracy protests.

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