Hong Kong protesters mark anniversary of major police clashes | Hong Kong protests News

1000’s of individuals in Hong Kong have once more taken to the streets, singing a protest anthem and chanting slogans as they marked the primary anniversary of a pivotal second within the pro-democracy protest motion.

On June 9 final 12 months, protesters within the monetary hub staged an enormous march as opposition to an unpopular invoice that might have allowed extraditions to the Chinese language mainland gathered tempo.


Three days later, on June 12, the primary sustained clashes broke out between protesters and riot police fired tear fuel exterior town’s legislature.

Such scenes turned a frequent prevalence over the subsequent seven months as Hong Kong was upended by unprecedented unrest fuelled by fears Beijing was eroding the semi-autonomous metropolis’s restricted freedoms.

In current weeks, outrage has once more mounted as China’s parliament handed a nationwide safety regulation focusing on subversion, succession, “terrorism” and overseas interference within the semi-autonomous area. The current protests additionally got here as a brand new regulation criminalising insulting the Chinese language nationwide anthem in Hong Kong got here into impact.

Hong Kong residents are afforded liberties unseen on the mainland as a part of the “one nation, two methods” deal made when British colonial energy handed the territory again to China in 1997. That deal is about to run out in 2047.

On Friday evening, hundreds answered on-line calls to assemble at 8pm (12:00 GMT) in native purchasing centres and neighbourhoods to chant pro-democracy slogans and sing “Glory to Hong Kong” – a protest anthem that turned vastly standard throughout the turmoil.

The gatherings had been unauthorised and went towards coronavirus restrictions, which prohibit the gathering of greater than eight folks.

‘That is the tip of Hong Kong’: China to impose safety regulation

In Mongkok and Causeway Bay, police raised a blue flag, warning that the gatherings had been illegal and power is perhaps used to disperse the members.

In Mongkok, teams of protesters had been detained and searched, whereas in Causeway Bay, police used pepper spray and arrested a number of protesters, together with pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui.

“At this time is the day that folks wished to mark one 12 months for the reason that nature of Hong Kong’s protests modified. Earlier than this, Hong Kong protests had been primarily peaceable rallies, peaceable demonstrations,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan, reporting from the protest website in Hong Kong.

“However the nature modified on today a 12 months in the past after protesters surrounded the legislative council constructing, and police had been accused of utilizing hardline ways towards the protesters by human rights activists and the protesters themselves,” she added.

Rallies had been reported in half a dozen districts on Friday, with protesters typically dispersing when police arrived and gathering elsewhere.

‘Our objectives not achieved’

A 28-year-old social employee, who gave his surname as So, mentioned anniversaries had been a option to hold the momentum going, regardless that crowd sizes at current protests have been a lot smaller than final 12 months.

“I got here right here as a result of our objectives haven’t been achieved, so I’ve to proceed popping out,” he instructed AFP information company in Causeway Bay, a well-liked purchasing district the place a whole lot had gathered.

“We’ve got to inform the federal government that we can’t quit, regardless of how many people are left,” he added.

Demonstrators and rights teams have pushed for an inquiry into alleged police brutality throughout the protests, in addition to an amnesty for the roughly 9,00zero folks arrested over the protests and common suffrage.

China has refused any main concessions and portrayed the protests as a overseas plot to destabilise the mainland. 

Nationwide safety regulation

In the meantime, critics together with rights observers and Western governments have expressed deep issues the nationwide safety laws handed by China final month will deliver mainland-style political oppression to town. Some have described it as a loss of life blow to Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy member of Hong Kong’s legislature, mentioned the nationwide anthem regulation is “considered one of many political instruments they’ll use to clamp down on Hong Kong”.

She added Beijing’s nationwide safety regulation has created a temper of “desperation, plus resignation”, saying many Hong Kong residents are deciding whether or not to depart the nation. “Particularly for younger {couples} with their youngsters, they want to think about their future, they should do no matter is greatest for his or her households,” she mentioned.

Earlier on Friday, China described Britain’s issues that the safety regulation would possibly undermine Hong Kong’s distinctive system as “groundless panic-mongering”.

The feedback got here a day after London renewed its name for an impartial inquiry to “rebuild belief” and heal divisions.

In an earlier rally on Friday, greater than 100 college students fashioned a human chain exterior a faculty the place a instructor was reportedly fired as a result of she allowed a candidate to play “Glory to Hong Kong” in a music examination.

“Oppose political suppression in class, give a good clarification to the instructor,” the younger protesters chanted as they held palms to point out solidarity.

On Thursday, town’s training chief Kevin Yeung mentioned college students shouldn’t sing “political propaganda” songs in faculties.

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