Hong Kong protesters' road show gets wide public support again

Updated: Aug 19, 2019, 08:14 IST | Agencies

Protests have plunged the financial hub into crisis, stunning a city once renowned for its stability

Hong Kong protesters' road show gets wide public support again
Demonstrators march along a street in Hong Kong, on Sunday. Pic/AP/PTI

Hong Kong: A sea of democracy activists once more flooded the streets of Hong Kong in a defiant show on Sunday to the city's leaders that their movement still pulls wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis, with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles against riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability. Communist-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone towards the protesters, decrying the "terrorist-like" actions of a violent hardcore minority among the demonstrators. Despite the near-nightly clashes with the police, the movement has won few concessions from Beijing or the city's un-elected leadership.

The spiralling violence, which last week saw protesters paralyse the city's airport, has tarnished a campaign that had taken pride in its peaceful intent and unpredictability — which demonstrators have tagged with the slogan 'Be Water'. Organisers of Sunday's rally, which started at the city's Victoria Park, said it was an attempt to wrestle the narrative of the protest back to its peaceful origins. It is a "rational, non-violent" demonstration, according to organisers Civil Human Rights Front —the driving force behind record-breaking rallies in June and July that saw hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets. Protesters flouted a police order not to march from the park, pouring across the heart of Hong Kong island despite torrential rain. Calling it a "flowing rally", one protester said the leaderless movement was constantly adapting to outfox the police.

Year Hong Kong was handed back to China

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