UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Tensions rose Saturday in Hong Kong as riot police clashed with protesters near a police station in a working-class neighborhood, raising doubts about the peaceful protests that continued for several days.
Thousands of protesters, many of whom wore hard helmets and gas masks, marched in the Kwon Tug industrial area, where dozens of riot police with shields and batons intercepted them.
Demonstrators blocked the road using traffic barriers and bamboo building poles as they yelled at policemen.
Police have become the target of anger at the protesters over their alleged violent response to weeks of protests. Hate against the police, which used batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas against militant demonstrators, has also grown, but they are also accused of beating peaceful protesters.
After serious violence and clashes a week and a half ago, especially at the airport of the self-governing city, what appeared to be directed towards violence in the city.
But Saturday’s rally is tense after a number of hardline protesters known as the “brave” gathered in the front lines.
“I have never seen Hong Kong in such a situation,” said De Xiong, 65.
“The young people who took to the streets put their future at stake,” he said. “They are doing it for Hong Kong.”
Protests in Hong Kong began with protests against a bill allowing extradition to mainland China, but expanded to demand democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.
Hong Kong has little-known freedoms on the Chinese mainland under an agreement that came into effect when Britain returned its former colony to China in 1997. Many Hong Kong residents say freedoms are dwindling, especially since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power.
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