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Hong Kong: police fire teargas as thousands march in Yuen Long

Almost 300,000 rebels and citizens had fallen on Yuen Long on Saturday afternoon, defying a police ban. They marched to the mass transportation station where masked men in white T-shirts had chased and beaten passengers on Sunday.
वीडियो को प्ले करने के लिए इमेज पे क्लिक करे

By the evening, the quiet march turned tense as demonstrators pushed close to villages surrounding the borough, where some of the triads believed to be behind the attack are based. Police shouted warnings through loudhailers telling people they were involved in illegal gatherings and ordering them to leave quickly. After hours of standoffs near two of the villages, police fired volleys of teargas at protesters who threw the canisters back.

A protester throws tear gas canister back at police
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 A protester throws a teargas canister back at police. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Rebels in black T-shirts and hard hats holding home-made wooden shields marched down the main road in Yuen Long when police fired pepper spray before shooting several more rounds of teargas at them, urging protesters to throw umbrellas and water bottles in return. Demonstrators dismantled roadside barriers and built makeshift obstacles between them and the police.
The militants had said they would leave together at 7.30pm to avoid any clashes in the evening with triads or occupants from the villages. But as news spread that police had deployed a special tactical crew to clear the streets and demonstrators saw reinforcements reaching, hemming them in, they began to disappear in panicked droves.
“I want everyone to be safe and to go home,” said Andy, 22, a demonstrator who was ushering people toward the trains. “This is a long-term movement and we already have less and less people who can be on the frontlines. We don’t want people to get arrested or hurt.”

Protesters clash with police in Yuen Long district.
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 Protesters clash with police in Yuen Long district. Photograph: Eric Tsang/AP

The police issued a bill late on Saturday advancing to protesters to leave Yuen Long as soon as practicable. “Police warn that protestors may be arrested if they refuse to leave,” the statement said, adding that demonstrators were participating in an “unauthorized assembly” and may hang with up to five years in prison.
The demonstrations and struggles, among the most chaotic of the last seven weeks, raise the stakes of a continuing standoff between demonstrators and cabinets.

A protester spray paints graffiti on a police van
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 A protester spray paints graffiti on a police van. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region of China, is facing its worst political crisis in decades. The protests, which began over a controversial extradition bill, have evolved to take on other demands including a police probe into the violence in Yuen Long last week. Residents, activists and opposition lawmakers have accused the government and police of conspiring with the triads in an attempt to suppress protests, a charge vehemently refuted by the Hong Kong leader, Carrie Lam.
Those attending the rally on Saturday, which became the town of Yuen Long into a sea of umbrellas as marchers shielded themselves from the sun, said they were not there for any political demands, but to speak out against violence.
“It’s not so much about democracy as it is about trust,” said Fong, 30. “If every Hongkonger chooses to stay at home then we will surely die … This is the way Hongkongers show their trust to each other, by showing up and standing up for each other.”

A police officer fires teargas at demonstrators
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 A police officer fires teargas at demonstrators. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The attack in Yuen Long and the response by authorities has added fuel to the protest movement, with rallies organized for Sunday and threatened “industrial actions” from civil servants and other groups.
Observers say the escalated tensions also raise the likelihood that Beijing will push the Hong Kong government to take a harder line on the protesters. In a rare move, police denied demonstrators’ application for the rally on Saturday in Yuen Long.

Hong Kong: police fire teargas as thousands march in Yuen Long Hong Kong: police fire teargas as thousands march in Yuen Long Reviewed by Naomi on July 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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