Hong Kong leads global 'anti-China' protest

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 08:28 IST | Agencies | Hong Kong

Fierce clashes break out during HK rally, aimed at casting a shadow over China's 70th birthday

Police lob tear gas canisters at protesters in Hong Kong
Police lob tear gas canisters at protesters in Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Fierce clashes broke out between protesters and riot police in Hong Kong on Sunday as thousands marched through the strife-torn city, during a day of global protests aimed at casting a shadow over communist China's upcoming 70th birthday.

Beijing is preparing for huge, tightly-choreographed festivities from Tuesday to mark the founding of the People's Republic of China, including a huge military parade that will revel in the country's emergence as a global superpower. But ongoing unrest in Hong Kong threatens to upstage those celebrations as the semi-autonomous city boils with public anger over the erosion of its special freedoms under Beijing's rule.

Democracy activists had vowed to ramp up their nearly four-month-long campaign ahead of Tuesday's National Day celebrations, which Hong Kong protesters have dubbed a "Day of Grief". Sunday witnessed the most intense clashes in weeks as police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons at multiple locations during running battles with hardcore protesters hurling rocks and petrol bombs.

Using online forums and social media, protesters had called for "anti-totalitarian" rallies to be held around the globe. Marches were held in Australia and Taiwan, and in some 40 locations across Europe and North America. Clashes broke out before Hong Kong's unsanctioned march had begun after angry crowds in the shopping district of Causeway Bay surrounded and heckled officers who were conducting stop and searches.

But the tear gas fired by police only emboldened the crowds who then began walking through the streets in their thousands. Some hardcore activists vandalised subway stations, tore down banners proclaiming the upcoming 70th anniversary celebrations and set fire to makeshift barricades. On Sunday, Lam's office announced she would be travelling to Beijing to attend the National Day celebrations.

01 Oct
National Day of the People's Republic of China

Suppporters of HK protesters at a march for global 'anti-totalitarianism' movement in Sydney on Sunday. Pics/AFP
Suppporters of HK protesters at a march for global 'anti-totalitarianism' movement in Sydney on Sunday. Pics/AFP

Sydney and Taiwan rally for Hong Kong

Thousands rallied in Sydney and Taipei to support Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters on Sunday, kicking off a day of planned "anti-totalitarianism" demonstrations globally.
In one of the largest solidarity marches in Australia since June, black-clad participants took to the streets chanting "Add oil", a protest slogan denoting encouragement.
In Taipei some 2,000 people gathered under torrential downpours outside parliament.

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