mcloudyn.png
Thursday January 23rd, 2020 1:00AM

Tens of thousands in Hong Kong take message to mainlanders

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HONG KONG (AP) — Tens of thousands of people, many wearing black shirts and some carrying British colonial-era flags, marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, targeting a mainland Chinese audience as a month-old protest movement showed no signs of abating.

Chanting "Free Hong Kong" and words of encouragement to their fellow citizens, wave after wave of demonstrators streamed by a shopping district popular with mainland visitors on a march to the high-speed railway station that connects the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to Guangdong and other mainland cities.

Hong Kong has been riven by huge marches and sometimes disruptive protests for the past month, sparked by proposed changes to extradition laws that would have allowed suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended the bill and apologized for how it was handled, but protesters want it to be formally withdrawn and for Lam to resign.

Organizers said 230,000 people marched on Sunday, while police estimated the crowd at 56,000.

"We want to show our peaceful, graceful protest to the mainland visitors because the information is rather blocked in mainland," march organizer Ventus Lau said. "We want to show them the true image and the message of Hong Kongers."

Chinese media have not covered the protests or their origins widely, focusing on clashes with police and damage to public property.

As the crowd broke up Sunday night, a few hundred remained and taunted police who had retreated behind huge barriers set up outside the railway station, while others moved to Canton Road, a street lined with luxury boutique stores. Around 11 p.m., police moved to disperse protesters who were blocking a road and arrested five people for assaulting or obstructing police officers, their statement said.

The march was the first major action since two simultaneous protests last Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the July 1, 1997, return of Hong Kong from Britain to China.

The march through central Hong Kong that's held annually drew hundreds of thousands of people. It was overshadowed this year, however, by an assault on the legislative building by a few hundred demonstrators who shattered thick glass panels to enter the building and then wreaked havoc for three hours, spray-painting slogans on the chamber walls, overturning furniture and damaging electronic voting and fire prevention systems.

Sunday's march was the first protest against the extradition legislation to take place on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong harbor. The previous ones were on Hong Kong Island, the city's business and government center.

Many of the marchers were young and wore black shirts that have become the uniform of the protesters. The largely peaceful crowd also included older people carrying handheld fans in the muggy heat, as well as parents with children, including some in baby strollers.

Many held placards, including one that read "Extradite to China, disappear forever." Some carried the British flag or the old Hong Kong flag from when it was a British colony.

"This is our fourth march because we think this government is not taking care of Hong Kong," said Dan Lee, who joined with his wife and their three children. "We need to save Hong Kong and we need to come out for our future generations."

The extradition legislation has raised concerns about an erosion of freedoms and rights in Hong Kong, which was guaranteed its own legal system for 50 years after its return to China in 1997.

Prior to the march, police put up large barricades blocking a main entrance to the railway station to prevent any attempt to enter it. Only passengers with train reservations were allowed into the station, the mass transit authority said, and Hong Kong media reported that ticket sales had been suspended for afternoon trains.

"The high-speed railway station is a connection between Hong Kong and China and this is the nearest place we can spread our message to China," said Lau, the march organizer.

The station was a source of contention before it opened last September, because passengers pass through Chinese immigration and customs inside. Some opposition lawmakers said the fact that Chinese law applies in the immigration area violates the handover agreement under which Hong Kong maintains its own legal system.

Protesters also are demanding an independent investigation into a crackdown on June 12 demonstrations in which officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds blocking major streets. Police said the tactics, harsher than usual for Hong Kong, were justified after some protesters turned violent. Dozens were injured, both protesters and police.

The protesters are also calling for the direct election of Hong Kong's leader. Lam was chosen by an elite committee of mainly pro-Beijing electors.

___

Associated Press journalist Johnson Lai contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tens of thousands in Hong Kong take message to mainlanders
Protesters in Hong Kong take their message to visitors from mainland China
9:37AM ( 5 minutes ago )
3 runners gored racing with bulls at Pamplona's festival
Officials say that the opening bull run of this year's San Fermin festival in northern Spain's Pamplona sent five people to hospital, including two Americans and a Spaniard who were gored by bulls
8:53AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Top UK diplomat in USA criticizes Trump in leaked memos
Leaked diplomatic cables reveal that Britain's ambassador to the United States regards President Donald Trump's administration as inept
8:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Iran to raise uranium enrichment beyond nuclear deal limits
Iran announces it is raising level of uranium enrichment, breaking another limit of 2015 nuclear deal, but says it remains open to diplomacy to save the agreement
7:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
Months of aftershocks could follow big California earthquake
Gov. Gavin Newsom says President Donald Trump has called him and expressed commitment to helping California recover from two earthquakes that hit the state in as many days
7:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
Stevie Wonder says he's getting a kidney transplant in fall
Stevie Wonder says he will be receiving a kidney transplant this fall
7:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Biden says he was wrong in comments about segregationists
Campaigning in South Carolina, Biden apologizes for his recent comments about working with segregationist senators
11:52PM ( 9 hours ago )
Iran poised to raise its uranium enrichment amid tensions
Iran appears poised to raises its enrichment of uranium and break another limit from its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
11:44PM ( 9 hours ago )
Thousands of motorcyclists ride in honor of 7 bikers killed
Thousands of motorcyclists have ridden through New Hampshire to the site where seven bikers were killed in a collision with a truck last month
9:39PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online National News
South Carolina is Sunday focus for sparring Biden, Harris
South Carolina is the focus Sunday for Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they campaign in a crucial proving ground for candidates seeking support of black Democrats.
7:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Gov. Newsom says Trump wants to help California
Gov. Gavin Newsom says President Donald Trump has called him and expressed commitment to helping California recover from two earthquakes that hit the state in as many days
7:08PM ( 14 hours ago )
The Latest: Helicopter crash victim was helping friend
One of the victims of the helicopter crash that killed seven people in the Bahamas was a new nurse who was helping a friend
5:54PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Rivals Biden, Harris to circle each other in South Carolina
Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are circling each other again, this time in South Carolina, a crucial early-voting state that'll test the depths of their support with black voters
2:06PM ( 19 hours ago )
House freshmen balance national crises, issues back home
Many House freshmen are determined to push beyond President Donald Trump's latest pronouncements from the White House - on the border crisis and the impeachment calls against him - to focus on local issues they say matter in their districts.
8:30AM ( 1 day ago )
Justice Department presses for census citizenship question
The Justice Department says it will look for legal grounds to force the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census
6:26AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
Investigators search for clues in Bahamas chopper crash
Accident investigators in the Bahamas are going deep below the surface of the water to try to figure out what went wrong in the moments before a helicopter crashed after takeoff and killed seven people, including West Virginia coal magnate Chris Cline
5:09PM ( 16 hours ago )
Top official says Iran ready for higher uranium enrichment
A top aide to Iran's supreme leader says the Islamic Republic is ready to begin enriching uranium beyond the level set by Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
4:33PM ( 17 hours ago )
NBA Summer League to go on after earthquake
Play will go on for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, day after earthquake
2:37PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Business
3 runners gored racing with bulls at Pamplona's festival
Officials say that the opening bull run of this year's San Fermin festival in northern Spain's Pamplona sent five people to hospital, including two Americans and a Spaniard who were gored by bulls
8:53AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Top UK diplomat in USA criticizes Trump in leaked memos
Leaked diplomatic cables reveal that Britain's ambassador to the United States regards President Donald Trump's administration as inept
8:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Poll: 1 in 4 don't plan to retire despite realities of aging
Nearly one-quarter of Americans say they never plan to retire, according to a poll that suggests a disconnection between individuals' retirement plans and the realities of aging in the workforce.
8:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
California governor says earthquakes are a 'wake-up call'
The two major earthquakes that hit Southern California should alert people across the nation of the need to be prepared for natural disasters, the state's governor said as officials expressed relief that the damage wasn't worse
8:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
Congress has ambitious agenda tackling health care costs
Lawmakers returning from their Fourth of July recess are trying to set aside their differences over the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and working toward a bipartisan agreement on a more immediate health care issue _ lowering costs for people with coverage
8:06AM ( 1 hour ago )