Hong Kong police use tear gas, rubber bullets as protesters target Chinese govt office (VIDEO)
About 400,000 people turned out for yet another protest in Hong Kong, according to the organizers' estimates, while police put the number at 138,000. The people continue to voice their anger over a controversial bill that envisages sending criminal suspects to mainland China, as well as the heavy-handed police response to the previous rallies.
Crowds of people marched through the city chanting slogans critical of the police and the local government. Thousands disregarded the designated march route and surrounded the Chinese government liaison office.
There, they spray-painted over the lenses of security cameras, wrote graffiti on the walls and defaced the lettering on the office gate. Some burned piles of garbage on the streets outside. Police pushed them back to the financial district, where clashes erupted.
Masked protesters threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
Footage taken at the scene by Ruptly shows medics carrying at least one person away on a stretcher, though no casualties have been officially reported.
Separately, a group of masked men attacked protesters in one of the suburbs hours after the march. City authorities have condemned the attack as well as the violence during the demonstration, calling both “absolutely unacceptable.”
Hong Kong has been gripped by protests over the extradition bill for weeks, even though the controversial legislation was suspended in mid-June. Initially peaceful rallies quickly spiraled into violence and saw multiple fierce clashes between police and demonstrators, who the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, described as “rioters.”
Massive rally to support police as they seize explosives linked to anti-govt group
The anti-government rally was preceded by a demonstration in support of police on Saturday, which drew in over 100,000 people, according to police estimates. The organizers put the turnout at 316,000. It concluded without incident and saw protesters calling for unity and urging the government to stop using officers as “human shields” forced to pay for its mistakes.
Ahead of the rally on Friday night, a cache of “extremely powerful” explosives and weapons were discovered in a warehouse used by a pro-independence group to store promotional materials in what police described as the “largest seizure” in the semi-autonomous city’s history. The group, however, denied any knowledge of the stash.
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