Protesters march to up pressure on Hong Kong government

Cheryl Sanders
December 2, 2019

Sunday's show of defiance by thousands of marchers in the former British colony follows skirmishes overnight between police and protesters, with tear gas fired for the first time since the November 24 district council vote and a man assaulted as he tried to clear a protester barricade.

People light up their mobile phones at the Whampoa area following a pro-democracy march from the Tsim Sha Tsui district to Hung Hom in Hong Kong.

At one street gathering protesters said they were determined to keep up the pressure on local authorities after the election victory. A big test of support for the anti-government campaign is expected on December 8 in a rally planned by Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized million-strong marches in June.

Hong Kong's Beijing-backed chief Carrie Lam has offered no additional concessions in the wake of the elections, and protesters said they felt compelled to return to the streets.

"The government wants us to desert the front-liners and young protesters, but we will stick with them", rally organizer Tam Kwok-sun, 64, said to loud cheers from the crowd.

On Saturday night police fired tear gas for the first time since the election as protesters blocked roads in the Mong Kok neighbourhood.

More than 10,000 people marched on Sunday to try to pressure the government to address the demands after pro-democracy candidates won a landslide victory in district council elections one week earlier.

Police estimated that 16,000 people attended the Kowloon rally.

A new US law prescribes sanctions on officials found guilty of human rights abuses and requires an annual review of a special trade status for Hong Kong.

Hua also announced that Beijing would impose sanctions on several USA non-governmental human rights organizations that have been monitoring and reporting on the protests in Hong Kong.

More rallies are planned Sunday, including an anti-tear gas protest and a gratitude march to the U.S. Consulate.

A protester wears an American flag scarf during one of the rallies, appealing to U.S. President Donald Trump for his government's continued support.

"In response to the unreasonable behaviour of the U.S. side, the Chinese government has made a decision to suspend reviewing the applications for USA warships to go to Hong Kong for (rest and) recuperation as of today", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.

"A lot of parents are anxious that their children are affected, because their children are coughing, breaking out in rashes and so forth", said social worker and march organiser Leo Kong.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and Chief of Asia Pacific Section OHCHR, Rory Mungoven, are seen during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur October 5, 2019.

On Monday, a newspaper regarded as neutral reported that the unrest has not subsided.

She also said that Ms Lam's Government must prioritise "meaningful, inclusive" dialogue to resolve the crisis.

China's United Nations mission in Geneva said the article interferes in China's internal affairs and exerts pressure on Hong Kong's government and police, which "will only embolden the rioters to conduct more severe radical violence".

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