LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Friday calling for the territory’s leader to resign and for the government to scrap a controversial extradition bill.
Responding to calls on social media, demonstrators started arriving outside the Legislative Council Complex at about 7am (23:00 GMT on Thursday).
People were urged to renew their protests after a Thursday afternoon deadline for the government to respond to their demands passed without any official response. Many were students dressed in black and wearing goggles and facemasks.
The police headquarters in Wan Chai, about a 500-metre walk from the legislature offices, was a new focal point for Friday’s actions. Several hundred protesters staged a sit-in in front of the building’s main entrance.
Joshua Wong – the recently released activist leader who rose to prominence during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution – told Al Jazeera he could possibly be rearrested under the “hardline suppression of the police force” for taking part in an unauthorised protest.
Wong said the demonstration at police headquarters showed the anger of the protesters at the treatment of their comrades at the hands of riot officers after violent clashes last week.
He said, however, Friday’s actions were a peaceful occupation of the roads around the building, and protesters would not try to storm the complex.
Wong said his organisation, Demosisto, encouraged people to join the demonstration, and the past two weeks encouraged his view of Hong Kongers’ political and civil sense.
“It’s the miracle of Hong Kong,” said Wong.
People in Hong Kong have marched in their millions this month to oppose a bill they fear will undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence and tighten China’s grip on the semi-autonomous region.
The movement has expanded into a larger rebuke of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who announced on June 15 she would suspend the bill, but stopped short of withdrawing it completely.
Cheung, 21, a City University student, said there are “numerous issues” that Hong Kongers are mad about.
“The chief executive said that the bill would be delayed. It needs to be scrapped and we are also protesting the violent reaction of the Hong Kong police.”
She said that “both” peaceful protest and more direct action are needed. “I won’t judge anyone who uses violence. They just want to support Hong Kong.”
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA