Hong Kong: Tens of thousands joined a peaceful march on Sunday [afternoon] in a resurgence of large-scale street protests, but the event ended in clashes and tear gas

 Demonstrations on Saturday 1 afternoon


by Holmes Chan (HKFP)

From around 3pm, huge crowds of black-clad demonstrators began to walk from the Tsim Sha Tsui clocktower to Hung Hom.
The march – one of three approved rallies on the day – was themed “Don’t forget our original intentions,” a reference to the ongoing pro-democracy protest movement which has entered its sixth month.
Crowds shouted popular slogans such as “Five demands, not one less” and “Disband the police force without delay,” with many accusing Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration of failing to respond to public concerns over police accountability and democratic reform.

Pro-democracy candidates led a landslide victory in the District Council elections last week, in a move widely seen as signalling public support for the protest movement.

“Carrie Lam said she wanted peace, and we gave her peace for two weeks,” one anonymous protester told HKFP. “But what has she done since then? She is crazy if she believes this means we have forgotten [our grievances].”
The event organiser estimated that over 380,000 had attended the march, though police put the peak turnout at 16,000.
Protesters spilt out onto Salisbury Road soon after the march started.

At around 4pm, police revoked the Letter of No Objection for the march – just one hour after it began.
In a statement, the force said police had fired tear gas after demonstrators near Mody Road Garden threw bricks at officers, while another group “hurled smoke bombs” near Empire Centre.
Riot police were also spotted using pepper spray outside Chungking Mansions, near the Sheraton Hotel and into the K11 Musea mall.
Officers also charged into Salisbury Garden – part of the initially approved route – and threw a tear gas grenade. Multiple arrests were subsequently made.
News footage from NowTV also showed officers charging into a Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station exit and using pepper spray against crowds, while an officer pushed over a kneeling woman who appeared to be pleading with them.

On Sunday night, the MTR Corporation announced that normal service hours would resume on Monday, though University station – next to the Chinese University of Hong Kong – on the East Rail Line will remain closed for repairs. The rail operator has been the target of extensive vandalism for months owing to allegations of kowtowing to police.

After nightfall on Sunday, the upscale residential neighbourhood of Whampoa became a flashpoint between protesters and police.
The force said that “masked rioters” had “recklessly damaging facilities” in the area, blocking Hung Hom Road and Tak Man Street while vandalising shops with alleged pro-Beijing ties.
An HKFP reported witnessed protesters targeting shops including Best Mart 360, Yoshinoya and Genki Sushi, as well as the Whampoa MTR station. Riot police and Special Tactical Squad officers – also known as “raptors” – rushed onto the scene, detaining at least one man in the process.
Riot police fired volleys of tear gas as the night progressed with some projectiles landing on a pedestrian footbridge, RTHK reported. Officers also fired bean bag bullets and other projectiles, news footage showed.
Police also detained at least 10 people in the vicinity of Whampoa and Hung Hom with officers entering private residential estates to conduct searches.
Following familiar patterns since August, protesters and police clashed in Mong Kok from 9pm onwards, with officers apprehending passersby en masse and conducting body searches.

Earlier on Sunday, two smaller separate rallies were held on Hong Kong island.
- One group marched to the United States Consulate-General to thank Washington for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which aims to punish those considered to be suppressing freedoms in the city.
- Another protested against the widespread use of tear gas by the Hong Kong police.
Both events only saw minor confrontations.

 Previous demonstrations on Sunday December 1 morning


by Jeffie Lam, Lilian Cheng, Linda Lew, & Phila Siu (SCMP)


- About 200 peaceful protesters of all ages gathered in Central to demand that police stop using tear gas.
More than 10,000 canisters of the chemical irritant have been fired since the anti-government movement began in early June.
Many participants wore surgical masks and held yellow balloons at the Edinburgh Place gathering. A significant proportion were parents with young children.
They chanted slogans including “No more tear gas” and “Disband the police force” as they marched from the square, through Tamar Park and to the government’s headquarters.
November was a particularly heavy month for tear gas deployment, with police launching some of the biggest bombardments of the riot control agent seen since the protests broke out in June.

-  Later, another group of about 200 protesters gathered at Chater Garden to hail Trump for signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
The rally, “Thank You US”, organised by a localist group called Hong Kong Autonomy Action (HKAA), saw people waving American flags and marching to the US consulate in Central.
Last week, Trump approved legislation that could impose diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, much to the anger of China, which said the move amounted to meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
The law, among other things, will allow Washington to suspend Hong Kong’s special trading status based on whether the city retains a sufficient degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework.
It will also give the US discretion to sanction people deemed to have violated freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, its mini-constitution.

 Previous rally on Saturday November 30 : 1,000 people join peaceful rally in Central organised by the elderly and students to keep pressure on government after pro-democracy camp election win


by Kathleen Magramo and Kimmy Chung (SCMP)

Rally in Central organised by secondary school students and so-called silver-haired group to show their calls for freedom and democracy are cross-generational.
Chater Garden rally, which police had authorised, followed sweeping victory for pro-democracy camp in last Sunday’s district council elections.

About 1,000 young and elderly protesters gathered in downtown Hong Kong on Saturday after a peaceful week following district council elections, to show that their demands had not changed despite a landslide victory for the pro-democracy camp in the polls.
The rally was organised by secondary school students and the so-called silver-haired group, to demonstrate that their calls for freedom and democracy were cross-generational.

The peaceful rally at Chater Garden in Central, which police had authorised, followed a sweeping victory for the pro-democracy camp in last Sunday’s elections, taking control of 17 out of the city’s 18 district councils.

People from all walks of life across all ages came together to take part in the rally, to keep the anti-government movement alive. Apart from students and the elderly, there were also pastors, artists and educators who came onstage to share their views on why the movement must go on.

- Tam Kwok-sun, 64, one of the rally organisers, said he hoped the event could unite the young and old to keep the protest movement alive until all their demands had been met.
“I will volunteer to help our councillors understand what citizens think,” Tam said. “It’s important for the neighbourhood to be involved in supporting our councillors not just by voting but also by actively participating in the community.”

- Zack Ho, a Form Six student from Delia Memorial School, Hip Wo, said: “We carry the burden of Hong Kong’s future and the dreams of Hongkongers. It’s scary, but we are not afraid.”

- Filmmaker Kenneth Ip Kin-hang, better known as Shu Kei, took the occasion to reach out to the anonymous protest artists who make songs, poems, online posts and photographs.

- Phoebe Tang, a Form Four student, was surprised to see so many elders joining the rally.
“We may have a huge age gap, but it’s inspiring to see that we are all striving for the same ideologies,” she said, referring to the protesters’ five demands.
“Some of us have argued with our parents over politics and protests, but it’s inspiring that there are still many elders supporting us.”
Tang has been on the protest front lines and he says he personally knows some classmates who were arrested during demonstrations.
“It’s hard for anyone to focus on his or her studies or work, because we haven’t won our battle with the government yet,” she said, adding that she would start preparing for semester exams during the upcoming winter break.

- A 17-year-old Form Six student, surnamed Sin, said he hoped the voices of all the anti-government protesters could be heard through “peaceful, rational and non-violent” protests one day.
The student said he decided to join the frontline protesters in August, after he had been enraged by the alleged police inaction in bringing to book those who launched an indiscriminate attack on passengers and other civilians at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21.
The black-clad protester said he was worried about being arrested, while he was also concerned about his public exams.
“But every time I ask myself to choose between the DSE exams and fighting the battle, I always choose the latter – because I love Hong Kong.”

- Another 17-year-old Form Six student, who gave his name as Marco, brought along his textbooks to study during the rally as he had to prepare for upcoming public exams.
“Citizens should continue to join peaceful and rational gatherings even though we’ve already been protesting for nearly six months,” Marco said. “As Hongkongers, we need to continue using different methods to raise our demands with the government. The battle in PolyU shows just how ugly the government is because they just let young protesters starve and get trapped.”


Some 5,890 people have so far been arrested in connection with the protests, of whom around 40 per cent are students, including 910 under the age of 18.
However, no police were in sight at the rally on Saturday.