Thousands of black-clad protesters from all walks of life thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a sign of broad support for anti-government demonstrations that have roiled the Chinese-ruled city for six months, Reuters writes.
With chants of, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” anti-government activists, young and old, marched from Victoria Park in the bustling shopping district of Causeway Bay to Chater Road near the heart of the financial district.
Authorities gave the green light to Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) – organizer of largely peaceful million-strong marches in June – to hold the rally, the first time the group has been granted permission for a protest since Aug. 18.
“I will fight for freedom until I die because I am a Hong Konger,” said June, a 40-year-old mother dressed in black seated on the grass in Victoria Park. “Today is about standing with Hong Kong, and the international community.”
The former British colony is governed under a “One Country, Two Systems” formula that guarantees freedoms not allowed in mainland China, but many fear Beijing is tightening the screws on the city and increasingly meddling in its affairs.
Beijing denies meddling, has condemned the unrest and blamed foreign governments, including the United States and former colonial power Britain, of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
Echoes of “five demands, not one less” echoed through the streets, referring to protesters’ calls for universal suffrage in choosing the city’s leader, among other demands.
Police said earlier on Sunday they had arrested 11 people, aged 20 to 63 and seized weapons including army knives, firecrackers, 105 bullets and a semi-automatic pistol, the first seizure of a handgun in six months of protests.