Hong Kong: Protests turn violent ahead N-Day celebrations
Hong Kong: The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong turned violent on Sunday after the demonstrators snarled major roads, threw bricks and firebombs at the police in an open challenge to Beijing just two days before the country commemorates 70 years of Communist rule.
Sunday’s demonstrations were notable because they came ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party’s rule in China. The protesters spotted the occasion as a chance to broadcast their resentment of Beijing’s growing influence over their life and politics in the semi-autonomous region, The New York Times reported.
The movement has muddled Hong Kong for 17 weekends, often boiling over into clashes between the police and protesters, but the authorities are under pressure to keep a lid on the unrest that threatens to overshadow China’s official celebrations on Tuesday.
The protesters, today, directed much of their taunting and chanting at mainland China. Some held red signs that said, ‘Anti-ChiNazi.’
‘Expel the Communist Party, free Hong Kong,’ they chanted at one point.
Jason To, 18, a university student who joined a march toward government offices, said he was afraid that if Hong Kong drew closer to Beijing, the city’s residents would lose their right to protest and press freedom.
‘I’m a Hong Konger, not a mainland Chinese,’ To stressed.
‘All of us like China, but we don’t like the Communist Party. Their rule is problematic,’ he was quoted as saying.
The demonstrations began around Sunday noon (local time), as a smattering of protesters gathered in the Causeway Bay shopping district on Hong Kong Island.
By 4:30 p.m. local time the police force had sprayed clouds of tear gas in three busy neighbourhoods of Hong Kong’s main island, and arcs of blue-dyed water from cannon mounted on trucks.
Meanwhile, the local government said in a statement that the police had used appropriate force to clear large crowds in Causeway Bay.