Protesters march in twin demonstrations ahead of general strike in Hong Kong

 timesofindia.indiatimes.com  08/04/2019 17:04:48 
HONG KONG: Protestors took to streets in twin rallies here on Sunday afternoon, a day before a planned citywide strike that is expected to significantly disrupt the daily life in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
The demonstrations came a day after violent street clashes erupted between protesters and riot police officers, resulting in more than 20 arrests, The New York Times reported.

Protesters swarmed the shopping district of Mong Kok here on Saturday to continue their agitations against the government and the now-suspended extradition bill.

On the same day, protesters vandalised the exterior of the Tsim Sha Tsui police station, destroyed multiple vehicles and set fire. Traffic lights were also shut off after underground cables were dug up and cut, while railings were pulled from the sidewalk to use as barriers against riot police.

Police accused protesters of throwing petrol bombs, bricks, glass bottles and other objects at officers, with more than 20 arrested for offences including unlawful assembly and assault.

Many protesters wore makeshift protective gear. Some used pool toys as shields while others had wrapped their extremities in cellophane to protect their skin from tear gas.

Rallies began, today, one in Tseung Kwan O, a quiet residential district in eastern Hong Kong that lies across the harbor from the city's main island, a quiet residential district in eastern Hong Kong that lies across the harbor from the city's main island, and another, across the harbour on the northwestern end of Hong Kong Island. The event was approved by the police in advance.

Protesters have also organised general strikes for Monday morning, as well as demonstrations inseven different parts of the city.

They came amid the ninth consecutive weekend of political unrest, which began in opposition to a controversial bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. The city's leader, Carrie Lam, has shelved the extradition bill but not formally withdrawn it.

The long weekend of civil unrest may place a new level of pressure on the government to meet the protest movement's broad range of demands.



They include an independent inquiry into police violence against protesters and the complete withdrawal of suspended legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the courts are controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

The strike and other events in the largely leaderless protest movement have been organised informally through social messaging apps like Telegram. Monday's strike has been endorsed by major trade unions in the city.

At one point on Saturday afternoon, some protesters removed a Chinese flag from a pole and tossed it into the harbour, drawing outrage from some people in Hong Kong, including Leung Chun-ying, Lam's predecessor.

In a statement on Sunday, the mainland government agency responsible for Hong Kong affairs said that action "must be severely punished in accordance with the law, and not softly."
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