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Date TimeJuly 07, 2019
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Hong Kong Protesters Take Message to Mainlanders in New March
(Bloomberg) -- Thousands of demonstrators chanting slogans marched through one of Hong Kong’s busiest tourist districts, the latest demonstration in weeks of mass protests triggered by a proposed law that would allow extraditions of criminals to mainland China for the first time.The marchers walked through the pedestrian-heavy Tsim Sha Tsui area as they headed toward the city’s new high-speed rail station to China. By evening they had reached the main entrance, which had been closed off by authorities, and the protest’s civilian organizers said they had begun surrounding the building. Ventus Lau, one of the protest’s organizers, said more than 230,000 people had joined the rally. Police -- whose turnout estimates are generally lower than protesters’ -- said 56,000 people had come out at the march’s peak, according to Hong Kong broadcaster TVB. The end point was intentionally chosen to reach out to mainland travelers using the rail link, according to postings and leaflets distributed by organizers.Some protesters waved flags that flew when Hong Kong was a British colony, while others carried yellow umbrellas, the symbol of the city’s pro-democracy Occupy Central protests in 2014. Organizers said they had filled several main thoroughfares, including Kowloon Park Drive, Anthony Road and Austin Road.Prominent activist Joshua Wong joined the demonstrators and said they hoped to impress on mainland visitors the importance of freedom and human rights.Interactive: Hong Kong Protesters’ Changing Tactics“Even with the Great Firewall censorship, it’s still a must for them to realize it’s time to let Hong Kong people enjoy certain degree of autonomy, and that’s the reason for us to continue our strike,” he said.Mass ProtestsPolice have appealed for participants of the march to express their views “peacefully and rationally,” the government said in a statement. The transport department will close some roads temporarily and public transport will be diverted, the statement said. Police officers will be on site to guide motorists.Lau said earlier in the day that barricades placed at the West Kowloon station could make it difficult for marchers to clear the streets at the end. “If any danger appears, it will be the full responsibility of the police,” Lau said.This weekend’s march follows weeks of demonstrations against the proposed extradition legislation. While Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the bill on June 15, protesters have continued pushing for its complete withdrawal, Lam’s resignation and other demands.Last week, Hong Kong police began arresting suspects on charges related to the July 1 break-in of the Legislative Council, where protesters smashed glass windows and defaced walls, portraits of government officials and the Hong Kong emblem.The city’s mass-transit operator announced that ticket sales were suspended for cross-border trains arriving or departing in West Kowloon from noon Sunday. Crowd management measures will be in place, it added.(Adds turnout estimates in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Stephanie Cheng and Justin Chin.To contact the reporters on this story: Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.net;Gregor Stuart Hunter in Hong Kong at ghunter21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Gregory Turk, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




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