Hong Kong protesters march in defiance of police ban


Protesters have been marching in two Hong Kong neighbourhoods in defiance of a ban by police who have clashed repeatedly with government opponents.

Hong Kong is in its ninth week of demonstrations that began in response to a proposed extradition law but have expanded to include other grievances and demands for more democratic freedoms.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of the Chinese territory’s leader, chief executive Carrie Lam, and an investigation into complaints of abuses by police.

Carrie Lam

Police refused permission for two rallies on Saturday but they went ahead despite that. Reporters saw officers in riot gear on a road where hundreds of people gathered for one of the rallies.

That followed a separate march earlier on Saturday, which received police approval, by parents who called for greater protection for children following incidents in which ordinary people have been caught in clashes between police and protesters.

Demonstrators complain China’s ruling Communist Party and Hong Kong leaders are eroding the liberties promised to the former British colony when it returned to China in 1997.

Opponents of the proposed extradition law said it would hurt the independence of Hong Kong courts and expose residents to political cases. The government suspended consideration of the proposed law.

Beijing has criticised some protesters as violent radicals spurred on by foreign forces bent on containing China’s development.

Protesters say police have used excessive force and ignored calls for help when thugs attacked civilians in a railway station.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of people dressed in black held a sit-in for a second day at Hong Kong’s busy international airport, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

They chanted slogans and left leaflets to explain to arriving travellers the controversy over the proposed extradition law and demands for universal voting rights.

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