Loading
Breaking
Now Reading: 11TH WEEKEND | Hong Kongers rally vs gov’t under stormy skies
11TH WEEKEND | Hong Kongers rally vs gov’t under stormy skies
August 18, 2019 , 12:27 PM

AUGUST 18, 2019 (Reuters) — Thousands of school teachers joined an 11th weekend of anti-government protests in Hong Kong on Saturday, as shops pulled down their shutters and braced for another restive summer night.

Weeks of increasingly violent demonstrations have plunged the city into turmoil. Water-filled barricades fortify the airport and government offices. Posters showing bloody clashes are stuck on street corners and there is a protest nearly every night.

The unrest began in June in opposition to a now-suspended extradition bill, and have since grown to include broader demands.

Following an escalation in violence over the past few days, rallies on Saturday and Sunday are a test of whether the movement can retain the broad support it has appeared to enjoy.

Saturday’s mostly peaceful protest suggested that it may – though thousands also attended a pro-police counter-rally, and a clearer picture is not likely to emerge until Sunday when a protest is scheduled that could draw tens of thousands.

“The government has been ignoring us for months. We have to keep demonstrating,” said CS Chan, a maths teacher at a rally of teachers, which police said up to 8,300 people had attended, in heavy rain. Organisers said 22,000 were present.

Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that has enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997.

During the past week they have increasingly directed their frustration toward police, who have responded with fiercer determination to clear them from the streets.

As storms cleared, anti-government demonstrators also marched through Kowloon – the main built-up area on the mainland side of Hong Kong harbour – while large pro-police crowds rallied in a harbourside park across the bay.

“I’m heartbroken to see the city being split up like this,” a retired telecoms technician, Michael Law, 69, told Reuters at the pro-police rally. “What the violent protesters have been doing shows no respect for Hong Kong’s rule of law.”

SHOPS SHUT

Organisers said 476,000 people attended the pro-police rally, while police said 108,000 attended. Reuters was not able to verify either estimate.
Many shops in Kowloon had shut early, even on big retail boulevards, in anticipation of clashes that have tended to turn nasty at night as front-line activists attack police.

On Saturday, protesters who had surrounded a police station soon vanished when riot officers advanced with shields and batons.

Some said they were saving their energy for Sunday, when the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front, which organised million-strong peaceful marches in June, has scheduled another protest.

The increasingly violent confrontations have plunged one of Asia’s financial capitals into its worst crisis for decades. The unrest also presents one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, has warned activists not tip their home into an abyss.
The European Union urged all sides to engage in dialogue, following other calls for restraint as Chinese paramilitary police have run drills close to the Hong Kong border.

Police in Australia also warned supporters and opponents of the Hong Kong protest movement to behave after scuffles at a rally in Melbourne.

Chinese officials have likened some actions by protesters to “terrorism” and Chinese state media outlets have urged Hong Kong police to respond more robustly.

Protesters have used slingshots to fire marbles at police, shone lasers at them and at times thrown bricks and firebombs.

Having fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the streets, and at one point in a subway station, police are warning that they could get tougher.

Although their stations have been attacked scores of times during the crisis, they have so far refrained from deploying water cannon, armoured cars or the dog squad.

They have made some 750 arrests, charging some protesters with rioting, which can attract a 10-year jail term.

But many remain on the side of the demonstrators.

Yu, a secondary school music teacher in her 40s, said she was determined to show support for protesting students, even though she did not agree with all their actions:
“I do appreciate their courage and caring about Hong Kong … they are definitely braver than our government.”

(Reporting by Marius Zaharia, Felix Tam, Anne Marie Roantree, Julie Zhu, Donny Kwok and James Redmayne in Hong Kong. Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels. Writing by Tom Westbrook and Greg Torode; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Kevin Liffey)

More From News5
Cardema, hinamon na patunayan ang mga akusasyon
Hinikayat ni COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez si dating NYC chairman Ronald Cardema na maghain ng reklamo sa halip na idaan ang kanyang mga akusasyon laban kay Commissioner Rowena Guanzon sa media.
Published On: August 23, 2019
Explainer: Dengue Epidemic
Anu-ano nga ba ang apat na strain o uri ng dengue?
Published On: August 23, 2019
Pagdami ng Chinese workers, 'di ikinaalarma ni Pres. Duterte — Palasyo
Ikinabahala ng ilang security officials ang pagdagsa ng Chinese workers sa POGO hubs na itinatayo malapit sa mga base militar ng Pilipinas. | via Maricel Halili / Bim Santos
Published On: August 23, 2019
Babaeng nambugbog sa isang viral video, sinermunan ni Idol Raffy
Nakatikim ng sermon mula kay Idol Raffy Tulfo ang isang dalagitang nambugbog sa isang trese-anyos na batang babae na kanyang pinagseselosan. Ang siste, pakiramdam ng dalagita ay nilalandi ng bata ang kanyang boyfriend. 'Di rin nakaligtas sa sermon ang mga magulang ng dalagita.
Published On: August 23, 2019
Death penalty at OFWs
"How can we appeal for mercy or a commutation of sentence?" Tutol si Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. sa pagbabalik ng death penalty sa Pilipinas dahil posibleng maapektuhan daw nito ang mga OFW na nahaharap sa ganitong parusa.
Published On: August 23, 2019
PACC: Case to case ang pagtanggap ng regalo
Puwedeng tumanggap ng hanggang P100,000 na halaga ng regalo ang mga tauhan ng gobyerno ayon sa Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
Published On: August 23, 2019
Huwag idamay ang Pangulo
Hindi raw makikialam si Pres. Rodrigo Duterte sa isyu nina dating National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema at COMELEC commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
Published On: August 23, 2019
Mental institution, nakikitang solusyon sa mass shootings
Ayon kay U.S. Pres. Donald Trump ay may sakit sa pag-iisip ang mga suspek sa mass shootings sa Amerika.
Published On: August 23, 2019
Explainer | The laws on gifts
Base sa batas, puwede nga bang tumanggap ng regalo o hindi ang mga pulis?
Published On: August 23, 2019
P3-M reward sa Negros Oriental ambush
Dinagdagan pa ni Pres. Rodrigo Duterte ang pabuya para madakip ang mga salarin sa pananambang sa apat na pulis sa Negros Oriental.
Published On: July 29, 2019
Top Stories
‘IRRESPONSIBLE’ | DA calls on backyard swine raisers to report sick pigs
SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 — The Department of Agriculture (DA) urges backyard swine raisers to report to their municipal or city veterinarians incidents
Published On: September 15, 2019
‘START CLOSING THEM’ | Dominguez orders clamping down of POGOs
September 15, 2019 – The Department of Finance (DOF) on Sunday has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to shut down Philippine offsh
Published On: September 15, 2019
OUTPUT DOWN | Attacks on Saudi oil facilities knock out half of supply
RIYADH/DUBAI/LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) — Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said it attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s
Published On: September 15, 2019
NOT GIVING UP | Hong Kong activist seeks U.S. support for pro-democracy protests
NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong said on Saturday he was seeking the support of U.S. lawmakers for
Published On: September 15, 2019
END OF DEADLINE | Manhunt ops for convicts freed under GCTA law to start Friday – NCRPO
September 14, 2019 – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is set to launch its man-hunt operations starting Friday next week aga
Published On: September 14, 2019