News ID: 256132
Published: 0315 GMT July 21, 2019

Tens of thousands march again in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands march again in Hong Kong

Hong Kong witnessed another huge anti-government march on Sunday with seemingly no end in sight to the turmoil engulfing the finance hub.

The city has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history by weeks of marches and sporadic violent confrontations between police and pockets of hardcore protesters. The initial protests were lit by a now-suspended bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, AFP reported.

But they have since evolved into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms, universal suffrage and a halt to sliding freedoms in the territory.

Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets, while the parliament has been trashed by protesters as Beijing's authority faces its most serious challenge since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.

Sunday's rally is the seventh weekend in-a-row that residents have come out.

Security was tightened in the city center, with metal street fencing often used by protesters to build barricades removed ahead of the march, and large water-filled barriers thrown up around the police headquarters.

At the end of the march protesters occupied a major road next to the city's parliament and a large crowd gathered outside the police headquarters, which has previously been blockaded twice before.

Riot officers maintained little presence and the atmosphere was calm, although the police said they had closed down the emergency response room at the headquarters.

Under the 1997 handover deal with Britain, China promised to allow Hong Kong to keep key liberties such as its independent judiciary and freedom of speech.

But many say those provisions are already being curtailed.

Authorities have also resisted calls for the city's leader to be directly elected by the people.

Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of city leader Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, amnesty and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.



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