Published: Tue, July 30, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Hong Kong protesters defy police despite growing violence

Hong Kong protesters defy police despite growing violence

Hong Kong has seen seven weeks of protests, sparked by a row over a controversial extradition bill.

Building barricades out of street furniture and umbrellas, protesters threw rocks and bottles.

Residents described a mounting police presence on Saturday morning, with force chiefs insisting they will still seek to keep order despite the ban.

Canisters were launched at a group blocking a road near the Chinese government's liaison office, which had eggs thrown at it last week.

Tensions have risen dramatically since, with state news agency Xinhua calling the act a "blatant challenge" to the central Chinese government.

The police, which came under heavy criticism for an apparent failure to stop the violence against the protesters, arrested 12 people, including some with links to criminal groups known as the triads.

Thousands of protesters clad in black T-shirts filled the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, less than a day after violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and police.

Yesterday's violence compounds the political crisis with the territory's pro-Beijing leadership seemingly unable - or unwilling - to end the chaos.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations erupted between police and pockets of hardcore protesters.

The protests, considered the most direct challenge to the authority of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, mushroomed on Friday as thousands of activists thronged the arrivals halls of Hong Kong global airport.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham Hong Kong) on Monday (July 29) called on the Hong Kong government to respond to the root cause of the recent civil unrest by withdrawing the extradition bill to restore to the harbor city its image as an global business and financial center, HK01 reports.

Her administration has faced down weeks of public anger and she has made few public appearances beyond visiting injured officers and holding a handful of press conferences.

"We call this Hong Kong's age of revolution", said a masked protester who called himself K Lee.

"You see force being escalated on both sides but then this is a huge imbalance because the police are in possession of deadly weapons".

For the first time, the Chinese government has delivered its official stance on the wave of protests in Hong Kong.

The protester added that many who marched did not want to stay late, saying Yuen Long was too risky for them after dark.

They are believed to have a stronghold in the New Territories, a large, mostly rural area in northern Hong Kong that borders mainland China.

Until 1:00 a.m. Sunday local time, a total of 23 people were found injured in the illegal public rally in Yuen Long, who were sent to several hospitals for treatment.

In a rare move, police banned Saturday's rally saying they feared reprisal attacks against villagers from protesters, a decision that only heightened anger towards a force already perceived to be protecting pro-government aggressors.

The rally began peacefully.

At around 7.30pm police charged into the crowds and began to beat protesters outside the Nam Ping village near the train station.

Dubbed Take Back Yuen Long, Saturday's rally is taking aim at "terrorism", according to Max Chung, who applied to police on Tuesday for permission for the march to take place in the northern town.

A second protester, Mr Wong, said the police's slow reaction made him "suspect some sort of collusion with the triad gangs, or at least they turned a blind eye".

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