Sunday, September 28, 2014

China fights HK pro-democracy demonstrations

Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; AP writers Elaine Kurtenbach, Louise Watt, Joanna Chiu contributed, Kelvin Chan (chanman) Associated Press
Riot police pepper spray peaceful demonstrators after thousands block the main road to the financial center district outside government HQ in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest today to challenge Beijing over restrictions on democracy, voting reforms, escalating the political battle in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators (AP).

Police assault peaceful demonstrators (AP)
HONG KONG, China - Hong Kong police blasted pro-democracy protesters with tear gas and used vans with flashing lights in renewed efforts overnight to force demonstrators from streets near the government headquarters, as the city's top leader early Monday urged them to go home.

Hong Kong's top leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, reassured the public that rumors the Chinese army might intervene were untrue. "I hope the public will keep calm. Don't be misled by the rumors. Police will strive to maintain social order, including ensuring smooth traffic and ensuring the public safety," said the Beijing-backed Leung, who is deeply unpopular. He added, "When they carry out their duties, they will use their maximum discretion."
As sit-ins spread to other areas of Hong Kong in the strongest challenge yet to Beijing's decision to limit democratic reforms for the semi-autonomous city, Leung urged everyone to go home and avoid causing trouble.

Demonstrators walk through tear gas used by riot police against them after thousands blocked a main road at the financial central district in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Authorities launched a crackdown that spiraled into an extraordinary scene of chaos as the crowd jammed a busy road and resisted officers wielding pepper spray (AP).
Say no to police state
"We don't want Hong Kong to be messy," Leung said as he read a statement aloud early Monday on TV. After spending hours holding protesters at bay, police lobbed canisters of tear gas into the crowd on Sunday evening. The searing fumes sent demonstrators fleeing, though many came right back to continue their protest. The government said 26 people were taken to hospitals; some carried away on stretchers.

As the protest dragged past midnight, police began pushing the crowds back with their vans. Meanwhile, some protesters began occupying other downtown areas. Some protesters pulled back, fearing police might move more aggressively to end the protests, which began with sit-ins over a week earlier by students calling for Beijing to grant genuine democratic reforms to the former British colony. More

Demonstrators gather in Hong Kong financial district after riot police use tear gas on them after thousands blocked road, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Police threatened further violent measures as they tried to clear thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators gathered outside government HQ in a challenge to Beijing over its decision to restrict democratic reforms for the city (AP).

No comments: