UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Hong Kong has seen limited clashes near the border with China on Saturday between police and protesters demanding more democracy in the 16th week of continued protest movement, coinciding with growing calls for demonstrations and strikes on two important occasions, one of which marks the anniversary of the Republic of China.
Police used tear gas and water cannons during a clash with radical groups who set up barricades and threw stones and Molotov cocktails in the Tuen Mun neighborhood in the northwest of the peninsula. Many people were arrested.
Since June, semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been experiencing its worst political crisis since its return to China in 1997 amid protests and almost daily moves to demand democratic reforms or denounce the police reaction, which protesters say is severe.
– Usual scenario –
Saturday’s events began with a peaceful gathering in Twin Moon before it spiraled out of control, in a scenario that has become commonplace.
Radical activists grabbed the Chinese flag from a local government building, then burned it. Subsequently, police officers headed to a park where protesters gathered, where they launched a campaign of arrests.
Hundreds of protesters set up barricades and dismantled security barriers. They also pelted with unspecified tools towards the nearby railway.
Clashes between police and demonstrators stopped immediately after police resorted to tear gas and rubber bullets.
In the early hours of Saturday, a number of protesters continued to hit and run with police on the streets.
Calvin Tan, 22, said the protesters were ready for a “long-term confrontation.”
“Every small group is important,” he told AFP. “Even if it doesn’t seem to be of much use, the overall scene is much more dependent on every step of the marathon.”
Simultaneously, calls for new demonstrations in the coming weeks are multiplying through websites and social media, with two major events approaching: September 28, the five-year anniversary of the “umbrella movement”; and October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding. People’s republic of China.
Amnesty International on Friday accused Hong Kong police of using excessive force against protesters demanding more democracy, denouncing “unacceptable and unlawful methods” and speaking of “torture”.
The organization has requested an independent commission of inquiry into police performance, which is also a basic requirement for protesters. But the Hong Kong government rejects that.
The police rejected the organization’s conclusions and accusations of excessive use of force.
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