Thousands of protesters took to Hong Kong’s streets on Sunday, a day after violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police, and as China’s official news agency warned Beijing will not let the situation in the Asian financial hub continue.
The Chinese-controlled city has been rocked by months of protests against a proposed bill to allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China and a general strike aimed at bringing the city to a halt is planned for Monday.
Police said in a statement early on Sunday that they had arrested more than 20 people for offences overnight including unlawful assembly and assault.
On Saturday police fired multiple tear gas rounds in confrontations with black-clad activists in the city’s Kowloon area. On Sunday thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in the town of Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories brandishing colorful banners and leaflets.
Dressed in black the protesters cheered as they called for a mass strike across Hong Kong on Monday.
“We’re trying to tell the government to (withdraw) the extradition bill and to police to stop the investigations and the violence,” said Gabriel Lee, a 21-year-old technology student.
Lee said what made him most angry was that the government was not responding to any of the protesters’ demands or examining the police violence.
By Sunday evening, some protesters had blocked roads in the area, removing railings from the kerbside and setting up barricades.
In the island’s Western district, thousands of people gathered to rally in a park to urge authorities to listen to public demands.
What started as an angry response to the now suspended extradition bill, has expanded to demands for greater democracy and the resignation of leader Carrie Lam