Last updated on September 30, 2019
Fierce clashes broke out between protesters and riot police in Hong Kong on Sunday as tens of thousands marched through the strife-torn town, through a day of international protests directed at projecting a shadow over Communist China’s forthcoming 70th birthday.
Beijing is preparing to get enormous, tightly-choreographed festivities from Tuesday to mark the founding of the this People’s Republic of China, such as a massive military parade which will enjoy the nation’s development as an international superpower.
But continuing unrest in Hong Kong threatens to upstage those parties as the semi-autonomous city comes with people angry over the erosion of its freedoms under Beijing’s rule.
Democracy activists from the financial hub had pledged to ramp up their almost four-month-long campaign before Tuesday’s National Day celebrations, which Hong Kong protesters have dubbed a”Day of Grief.”
Sunday has seen the most intense clashes in weeks since police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons at various places during running conflicts with hardcore protesters hurling stones and petrol bombs.
Clashes broke out ahead of Hong Kong’s unsanctioned march had started after angry crowds in the shopping district of Causeway Bay surrounded and heckled officers that had been running searches and stop.
However, the tear gas fired by police emboldened the audiences who then started walking through the streets in their thousands.
Some hardcore activists vandalized subway stations, tore down banner proclaiming the coming 70th-anniversary parties and put fire to makeshift barricades.
Most marchers were holding so-called”China flags,” an edition of the flag with yellowish stars arranged in the form of a swastika.
Authorities spent hours shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at several locations throughout the city center and have been seen making several arrests through the day.
An AFP reporter observed masked guys differently beating pro-democracy protesters from the district of Wanchai with long sticks.
It wasn’t clear if the guys were police dressed as protesters, a strategy utilized by force with higher frequency.
Volunteer medics attended an associate of the media after being struck in the face with a police projectile.
Lots of Hong Kong’s more hardcore protesters have taken inspiration in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution that ousted a pro-Russian president.
“We’re hoping that when we relate to various areas of the planet and struggle against Chinese communism, we’ll win this motion,” he told AFP.
A 62-year-old protester, who gave his surname as Man, stated he believed people’s livelihoods and freedoms had escalated since Hong Kong was given back to China from Britain in 1997.
“I really don’t need to topple the regime, but it certainly should change,” he told AFP. “It must look for reconciliation with all the people.”
Seconds of unrest
Over the past 17 months, Hong Kong has seen the worst political unrest since its handover to China in 1997 with enormous pro-democracy rallies in addition to increasingly extreme clashes between authorities and a minority of violent protesters.
The town’s summer of discontent was initially triggered by an extradition invoice to the mainland which has been shelved.
However, the motion has since morphed to a telephone for free elections and less intervention from Beijing.
On Friday and Saturday night, thousands of folks turned out for two peaceful rallies.
However, there were short clashes on Saturday night when police used water cannon and tear gas to conquer back little groups of protesters hurling bricks and petrol bombs in a government building.
Under the policy of”one nation, two systems,” China has provided little Hong Kong individual liberties refused to citizens on the mainland — such as freedom of expression, unfettered access to the net and an independent judiciary.
However, the arrangement is supposed to expire in 2047, and several accuse Beijing of eroding a few of that independence in the past couple of decades.
Protesters are calling for an independent investigation into the authorities, an amnesty for those detained along with the right to select their leaders — needs repeatedly disregarded by Beijing and town pioneer Carrie Lam.