Alexa Hong Kong protesters march peacefully

Dhaka, Tuesday   17 September 2019


Hong Kong protesters march peacefully

 International Desk

 Published: 11:05 PM, 18 August 2019   Updated: 01:43 AM, 19 August 2019

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Tens of thousands of protesters marched peacefully in central Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Sunday, after recent rallies were characterized by violent clashes with police.

Although authorities did not grant permission for a march and a heavy rainfall soaked demonstrators, a spontaneous procession made its way randomly across the city while defiantly chanting calls for freedom and repudiation of alleged police brutality.  Protesters occupied a five-kilometer-long stretch road in the city with umbrella on their heads. 

Hong Kong's elderly and young children also joined in to express their anger over the government and police brutality.

“Over the last two months in Hong Kong, we’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears,” said the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the organizer of the rally, in an open letter. Hong Kongers have endured enough humiliation by the Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong Police, he added 

Organizers said they hoped to return to a peaceful event after past weekends saw violent clashes between police and more hardcore protesters.

"We will stand here; we will take action until they respond to us. Together we have more power," said Harley Ho, a 20-year-old student in the protest.

A Hong Kong government statement said, "Only when they were violently attacked and left with no choice did the police use minimum force to disperse protesters in order to restore social order."

180 police officers had been injured in recent weeks and that officers have been "under tremendous work pressure" due to "long hours" and were only committed to maintaining law and order, the statement added.

Activists and police have clashed over the past 10 weeks, but this weekend's rallies have so far been peaceful.

China’s People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force, had been practicing crowd control tactics in Shenzhen, the Chinese city connected to Hong Kong, over the past week. China has likened the protests to terrorist activity.

The protests were sparked by an extradition bill, which has since been suspended by the Hong Kong government. Protesters are demanding the resignation of the city's leader, Carrie Lam, as well as fully democratic elections and an independent investigation into what they claim is police brutality against the protesters.