Protesters move to park after haggling for hours with cops in Hong Kong

Updated: Jun 18, 2019, 12:44 IST | Agencies

They moved after police cleared the streets in Hong Kong; they have rejected leader Carrie Lam's apology

Protesters move to park after haggling for hours with cops in Hong Kong
A protester (R) shouts in front of police as a group of demonstrators rally outside the Legislative Council government offices against the controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong on Monday. Pic/AFP

Hong Kong: Protesters in Hong Kong left the streets, averting possible clashes Monday after haggling for hours with police by moving to areas near the city's government headquarters. The demonstrators who stayed after a massive protest march the day before, demanding that Chief Executive Carrie Lam abandon a proposed extradition bill, were seen streaming Monday morning into a space outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council after police who had cleared it reopened the area. Their decision to move allowed police to reopen streets to traffic.'

The activists have rejected an apology from Lam for her handling of the legislation, which has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony. "We are very angry that Carrie Lam has not responded to the demands of all the protesters, but now is the time to talk about strategy, and talk about strategy is to how about how to make the whole struggle into a long-term struggle and not a day struggle, so if Carrie Lam does not respond to the five demands by the protesters, people will come back and the struggle will continue," said Lee Cheuk-yan, a former legislator and activist. Shortly after daybreak, the police had asked for cooperation in clearing the road but said the protesters could stay on the sidewalks.

Activist Joshua Wong leaves jail

Leading Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong walked free from prison Monday and vowed to join historic anti-government protests rocking the finance hub, as activists kept up pressure on the city's embattled pro-Beijing leader.

Joshua Wong (C) leaves Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute in Hong Kong. Pic/AFP
Joshua Wong (C) leaves Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute in Hong Kong. Pic/AFP

Wong, the poster child of the huge pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" protests of 2014, became the latest voice to call for Lam's resignation as he was released from a sentence imposed over his leadership of those demonstrations.

"She is no longer qualified to be Hong Kong's leader," said Wong, who was sent to prison in May but released early for good behaviour. "I will also fight with all Hong Kongers to oppose the evil China extradition law." Opposition to the extradition bill united an unusually wide cross-section of Hong Kong in recent weeks, from influential legal and business bodies to religious leaders.

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