Clashes break out at Hong Kong border town protest

Cheryl Sanders
July 13, 2019

Thus far, Hong Kong's government has only suspended the extradition bill, but demonstrators still demand its full withdrawal, Lam's resignation and the release of arrested dissenters.

On Sunday, tens of thousands marched in one of Kowloon's most popular tourist shopping areas, trying to persuade mainland Chinese tourists to back opposition to the extradition bill.

Police in Sheung Shui, Hong Kong, struggled to contain a July 13 protest against parallel traders from mainland China.

The two dozen marchers were mostly older veteran protesters like Leung, in contrast to the students and other young people who have been at the center of the past month's demonstrations.

Protesters hold placards reading "Strictly enforce the law against smugglers of grey goods" during a rally in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Beijing's top representative in Hong Kong on Thursday offered words of support for the beleaguered Carrie Lam administration, saying the central government stands by the territory's leadership in the wake of the extradition bill controversy.

They marched to a police barricade at a protest site and bowed their heads for a moment of silence to mourn several young people who have died in recent weeks, including a man who fell to his death after unfurling banners against the legislation and a woman who left a suicide message.

Mainland traders have always been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fuelled inflation, driven up property prices and dodged taxes.

Many interviewed by the Guardian said the millions-strong anti-extradition protests during the past month became a lightning rod for them. Many street-level shops were shuttered during the march.

One protester said Saturday's scuffles started when demonstrators charged the police after the latter came to the assiatcne of mainland traders who had assaulted demonstrators.

When Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

"The government, Carrie Lam, some legislators in functional constituencies are not elected by the people, so there are many escalating actions in different districts to reflect different social issues", he said.

Hong Kong media mogul and democracy advocate Jimmy Lai met with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence this week over the extradition bill, while singer-activist Denise Ho gave a speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council on suppression of rights and freedom in Hong Kong and called on it to eject China as a member.

Similar protests have included a march last week by almost 2,000 people in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

"If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly".

Speaking at a ceremony for launch of a committee that will coordinate the October 1 National Day celebrations, Wang slammed foreign forces for their alleged meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and also warned Hongkongers to stay on guard against a few locals who were seeking to create chaos in the city.

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