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Hong Kong police launch tear gas at protesters as thousands take to the streets

Hong Kong police fired tear gas to try to disperse democracy protesters earlier today – after pro-China groups pulled down the anti-government notes on some ‘Lennon Walls’ in a Chinese-ruled city.

Thousands of pro-democracy marchers gathered under the sweltering sun near the government offices of Tuen Mun, an outlying area in the west of the New Territories, where some set fire to a Chinese flag.

Earlier, dozens of Beijing supporters tore down large mosaics of colourful post-it notes that were denouncing the Chinese government for allegedly meddling in the former British colony.

Demonstrators hold up their hands to symbolise the five demands that protesters are asking for, as they take part in a pro-democracy march in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun district today

An anti-government protester is detained. Earlier, dozens of Beijing supporters tore down large mosaics of colourful post-it notes that were denouncing the Chinese government for a perceived meddling in the former British colony

An anti-government protester is detained. Earlier, dozens of Beijing supporters tore down large mosaics of colourful post-it notes that were denouncing the Chinese government for a perceived meddling in the former British colony

Riot police charge to disperse protesters. Hong Kong's protests picked up in June over legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Demands have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage

Riot police charge to disperse protesters. Hong Kong’s protests picked up in June over legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Demands have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage

‘I am a Chinese man,’ one of the pro-Beijing protesters shouted when confronted by the pro-democracy marchers.

The ‘Lennon Walls’, named because of their similarity to the John Lennon Wall in communist-controlled Prague in the 1980s that was covered with Beatles lyrics and messages of political grievance, had blossomed across the Asian financial centre, at bus stops and shopping centres.

These walls, also found under footbridges and along pedestrian walkways, have occasionally become hot spots of violence during the last three months of unrest.

Local residents remove banners, posters and sticky notes from a Lennon Wall, one of many which appeared during the recent pro-democracy protests, in an underground walkway in the Aberdeen area of Hong Kong today

Local residents remove banners, posters and sticky notes from a Lennon Wall, one of many which appeared during the recent pro-democracy protests, in an underground walkway in the Aberdeen area of Hong Kong today

Near the subway station in the Tsuen Wan neighborhood, a woman who was tearing down posters threw a bag at a reporter and a man shoved a cameraman, RTHK reported

Near the subway station in the Tsuen Wan neighborhood, a woman who was tearing down posters threw a bag at a reporter and a man shoved a cameraman, RTHK reported

Protesters march in an anti-government rally in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. Hong Kong has entered its fourth month of mass protests, originally triggered by a now suspended extradition bill to mainland China

Protesters march in an anti-government rally in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. Hong Kong has entered its fourth month of mass protests, originally triggered by a now suspended extradition bill to mainland China

What do Hong Kong protesters want?

Apart from the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong demonstrators have listed five demands and have continued to urge the government to respond to them.

These five demands are:

1. A complete withdrawal of the extradition bill

2. A retraction from the government to its characterisation that the protesters were ‘rioters’

3. Unconditional and immediate release of protesters who were arrested and charges against them dropped

4. Establishment of an independent inquiry to investigate police violence during clashes

5. Genuine universal suffrage 

Lam has promised to withdraw the bill, but is yet to agree to the rest. 

But many of the walls were destroyed after a pro-Beijing city legislator, Junius Ho, urged his supporters to clean up around 100 of them across all 18 of Hong Kong’s districts today.

But in a message posted late on Friday on his Facebook page, Ho said ‘for the sake of safety’ the Lennon Walls would not be cleared up, only the streets. 

Near the subway station in the Tsuen Wan neighborhood, a woman who was tearing down posters threw a bag at a reporter and a man shoved a cameraman, RTHK reported. 

It said there was pushing and shoving between the two sides at stations in Yuen Long and Lok Fu.

Ho made an appearance in the Shau Kei Wan neighborhood but residents shouted at him and told him to leave, RTHK said. 

On Wednesday, the Hong Kong Jockey Club cancelled a horse race after some protesters suggested targeting the club because a horse owned by Ho was due to run.

Later Saturday, some protesters planned to go to another district, Yuen Long, where on July 21 this year a group of men with sticks hit protesters and subway passengers.   

The transit operator, MTR Corp, has closed train stations near potential protest sites, including Tuen Mun. 

Hong Kong’s protests picked up in June over now-withdrawn legislation that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Demands have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage. 

Protesters hold US flags and banners. The demonstrations have taken on their own rhythm over the months and tend to peak at weekends, often with anti-government activists, many masked and in black, throwing petrol bombs at police, trashing metro stations, blocking airport roads and lighting street fires

Protesters hold US flags and banners. The demonstrations have taken on their own rhythm over the months and tend to peak at weekends, often with anti-government activists, many masked and in black, throwing petrol bombs at police, trashing metro stations, blocking airport roads and lighting street fires

Police officers detain an anti-government protester. On Friday Amnesty International said some police treatment of detainees amounted to torture

Police officers detain an anti-government protester. On Friday Amnesty International said some police treatment of detainees amounted to torture

Protesters lower a Chinese national flag in Hong Kong. China says it is committed to the 'one country, two systems' arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain, of inciting the unrest

Protesters lower a Chinese national flag in Hong Kong. China says it is committed to the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain, of inciting the unrest

Anti-government protesters wore all black and covered their faces with ski masks and balaclavas during the march in Tuen Mun. At times, protesters have been confronted by supporters of Beijing wielding sticks

Anti-government protesters wore all black and covered their faces with ski masks and balaclavas during the march in Tuen Mun. At times, protesters have been confronted by supporters of Beijing wielding sticks

Police have responded with firing tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and several live rounds into the air, prompting accusations of brutality which they deny. On Friday Amnesty International said some police treatment of detainees amounted to torture

Police have responded with firing tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and several live rounds into the air, prompting accusations of brutality which they deny. On Friday Amnesty International said some police treatment of detainees amounted to torture

Hong Kong police swarmed the area where protesters marched as they detained those who tried to fight back against them

Hong Kong police swarmed the area where protesters marched as they detained those who tried to fight back against them

Steve Chiu, who works in finance, said people like Ho would only give the pro-democracy movement fresh impetus. 

‘Through provocative acts like this, he helps unify the moderates and frontliners in the movement,’ he told Reuters.

‘It’s like a wave. Sometimes we’re in a trough and sometimes on a crest, and we’re rising again.’ 

The anti-government protesters are angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in Hong Kong, which returned to China under a ‘one country, two systems’ formula that ensures freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland in 1996.

Riot police advance during an anti-government march in Tuen Mun. More pro-democracy protests are planned this weekend including a sit-in today at a mall near the Yuen Long subway station in the west, marking two months since activists were attacked by a mob there

Riot police advance during an anti-government march in Tuen Mun. More pro-democracy protests are planned this weekend including a sit-in today at a mall near the Yuen Long subway station in the west, marking two months since activists were attacked by a mob there

A protester is held down

Police detain a protester

This protester is held down by riot police during the protests. The transit operator, MTR Corp, has closed train stations near potential protest sites, including Tuen Mun

An elderly man clashes with riot police during the Hong Kong protest.

An elderly man clashes with riot police during the Hong Kong protest. Steve Chiu, who works in finance, said people like Junius Ho would only give the pro-democracy movement fresh impetus

China says it is committed to the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain, of inciting the unrest.

The demonstrations have taken on their own rhythm over the months and tend to peak at weekends, often with anti-government activists, many masked and in black, throwing petrol bombs at police, trashing metro stations, blocking airport roads and lighting street fires.

At times, they have been confronted by supporters of Beijing wielding sticks.

Hong Kong police had to get in to a bush while they restrained a protester during today's clash

Hong Kong police had to get in to a bush while they restrained a protester during today’s clash

Police have responded with firing tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and several live rounds into the air, prompting accusations of brutality which they deny. On Friday Amnesty International said some police treatment of detainees amounted to torture.

Police said they have respected the ‘privacy, dignity and rights’ of those in custody according to regulations, allowing detainees transport to hospitals and communication with lawyers and their families.

More pro-democracy protests are planned this weekend including a sit-in on Saturday at a mall near the Yuen Long subway station in the west, marking two months since activists were attacked by a mob there. 

Footage released by Guangdong police shows tens of thousands of officers taking part in drills. The department released a Hollywood-style video through Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, which shows officers conducting a series of drills in preparation for a potential crackdown on Hong Kong protesters

Footage released by Guangdong police shows tens of thousands of officers taking part in drills. The department released a Hollywood-style video through Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, which shows officers conducting a series of drills in preparation for a potential crackdown on Hong Kong protesters

It comes just days after the police authority of Guangdong Province in southern China urged the land, naval and air forces across the region to conduct more drills to improve their combat capabilities ahead of the country’s National Day on October 1. 

The country’s ruling Communist Party will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of its regime in less than two weeks time, and the ongoing pro-democracy unrest is one of the most sensitive and critical issues it faces.

Guangdong and Hong Kong share close social and cultural ties. Many Hong Kongers have ancestors from Guangdong, previously known as Canton, and both regions speak Cantonese. 

The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department demanded its troops to carry out more live-fire drills to sharpen their skills last Tuesday.

It said the forces must live up to the responsibilities given by the Communist Party and the people. 

The department released a Hollywood-style video through Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, which shows officers conducting a series of drills in preparation for a potential crackdown on Hong Kong protesters. 

Large-scale exercises were organised in 21 cities across the province, including populous cities like Zhuhai.  

Hong Kong and the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen share a 22-mile-long border. The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department demanded its troops to carry out more live-fire drills to sharpen their skills last Tuesday

Hong Kong and the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen share a 22-mile-long border. The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department demanded its troops to carry out more live-fire drills to sharpen their skills last Tuesday

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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