World: 'We’ll just come back': Hong Kong protesters push on despite sweep of pro-democracy murals - PressFrom - US
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World 'We’ll just come back': Hong Kong protesters push on despite sweep of pro-democracy murals

23:50  21 september  2019
23:50  21 september  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

'Glory to Hong Kong': The new anthem embraced by protesters

'Glory to Hong Kong': The new anthem embraced by protesters A defiant protest anthem penned by an anonymous composer has become the unofficial new soundtrack to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, belted out by crowds at flashmobs in malls, on the streets and in the football stands. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "Glory to Hong Kong" first appeared on YouTube on 31 August and has quickly won a huge following among those pushing for greater democratic freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

HONG KONG —Beijing’s supporters on Saturday answered the call of a firebrand lawmaker to strip pro-democracy messages plastered on walls and subway stations around this Asian financial capital, stoking fears of renewed clashes as anti-government protests push into their 16th weekend.

a close up of a person wearing a helmet: An anti-government protester is seen Saturday at Yoho Mall, near Yuen Long station, in Hong Kong.© Jorge Silva/Reuters An anti-government protester is seen Saturday at Yoho Mall, near Yuen Long station, in Hong Kong.

Supporters of the Chinese government removed vibrant murals of Post-its and artwork known as “Lennon Walls” that have become a symbol of the protest movement. Pro-democracy marchers, in the meantime, clashed with police, exchanging petrol bombs and tear gas.

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“They want to tear down all the material because they want to silence us,” said a black-clad protester named John, 30, who works in real estate. “We don’t care how much they tear down; we’ll just come back tomorrow, every night and day.”

Protesters remained unfazed by the Lennon Wall sweep and showed no signs of backing down. Nor does the government show any willingness to make concessions, and tensions are running high as the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China approaches.

a group of people sitting on the floor: Pro-government supporters on Saturday remove posters put up by pro-democracy demonstrators reading “Free Hong Kong. Revolution Now.” at a Lennon Wall on a pedestrian footbridge in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong.© Kyle Lam/Bloomberg Pro-government supporters on Saturday remove posters put up by pro-democracy demonstrators reading “Free Hong Kong. Revolution Now.” at a Lennon Wall on a pedestrian footbridge in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong.

Lennon Walls — public mosaics expressing support for the democracy movement — have come to define Hong Kong’s protest movement since it erupted in June over a controversial extradition bill. Though the bill has been shelved by the city’s embattled leader Carrie Lam, protesters are digging in with their remaining four demands, including free elections and an independent inquiry into police violence this summer.

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Hong Kong protesters plan mall sit-ins after hill-top human chains Hong Kong pro-democracy activists plan sit-ins at shopping malls and student rallies on Saturday after a night in which protesters took to the hills to form lantern-carrying human chains, the latest demonstrations in months of unrest. © Reuters/ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA Anti-government protesters gather at Lion Rock, in Hong Kong They also plan to gather outside the British Consulate on Sunday to demand that China honors a Sino-British Joint Declaration that was signed in 1984, laying out the former British colony's future after its return to China in 1997.

Behind the mural sweep was outspoken lawmaker Junius Ho, who became a polarizing figure after a shocking subway attack on July 21 when a mob of white-shirted, rod-wielding men with Chinese flags stormed a station and indiscriminately beat civilians, injuring at least 45 people including journalists and a lawmaker. Ho was accused of colluding with the attackers after he was filmed in the area that evening shaking hands with men wearing white. He has denied any connection.

Protesters preempted the sweep by plastering pictures of Ho along footpaths of Lennon Walls so cleaners would need to rip down his photo. Passersby took videos of themselves walking along the runway of faces that had been drawn with fangs and other expletives.

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“They have the right to do it,” a 35-year-old designer who identified himself by his surname Poon said, referring to Ho’s supporters tearing down the murals. “No one can stop them. They have the right to express their opinions, only no violence.”

Ho returned to headlines Wednesday after the powerful Hong Kong Jockey Club canceled a race in which his horse, “Hong Kong Bet,” was participating. The club said it scrapped the event due to “potential social unrest,” fearing the stadium would become the next protest flash point.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Pro-democracy protesters stand behind barricades during after a rally Saturday in Tuen Mun district.© Anthony Kwan/Getty Images Pro-democracy protesters stand behind barricades during after a rally Saturday in Tuen Mun district.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong’s western area of Tuen Mun, thousands crowded into every inch of shade as they congregated in a playground. A small group of protesters played soccer while others handed out protest gear such as face masks and protective identity card sleeves to prevent tracking of personal information. Police estimate 4,300 attended the Tuen Mun rally.

Hong Kong’s subway closed two stations ahead of demonstrations in anticipation of clashes.

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Pelosi welcomes Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to Capitol House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday welcomed Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to the U.S. Capitol, sending a message to Beijing that Congress supports the protesters in their months-long campaign for human rights. 

Ostensibly the purpose of the protest was to demonstrate over the issue of damas, or “singing aunties,” women who sing loudly into microphones in parks late at night and dance for men and donations. Protests often latch onto local issues depending on the neighborhood in which they unfold. A police ban on the event was overturned.

But as the shouts and cheers indicated, it was another anti-government demonstration. Protesters in the stands cheered “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times!” and “Add oil!” Black-clad protesters played soccer before unfolding umbrellas to kick off a march under the sweltering sun.

“The Hong Kong government is still not responding to the five demands,” said Harrison, 28, an airline worker. “We want to keep fighting until the day they respond to our five demands. We keep fighting until the police pay for what they’ve done to us.”

By late afternoon, the march devolved into confrontations between police and protesters near a shuttered subway station. Protesters threw bricks, built barricades and set fires. A few burned a Chinese flag — a major offense in the eyes of Beijing. Police charged the streets and fired tear gas.

a group of people standing in front of a car© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Posta group of people in uniform© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

The police have come under intense scrutiny after Amnesty International this week issued a report accusing police of an “alarming pattern” of “reckless and indiscriminate” tactics against protesters.

Beijing promised Hong Kong, a former British colony, a high level of autonomy for 50 years ahead of the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. The city was supposed to enjoy freedoms denied to those in mainland China, such as rule of law, a free press and independent judiciary.

Hong Kong police say student arrests at protests increase .
Hong Kong police said Friday that students account for 29% of nearly 1,600 people detained in anti-democracy protests since June and urged young people to take the "straight and narrow path" as more major rallies loom this weekend. © Provided by The Associated Press Protesters form a human chain outside the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Riot police on Thursday begun securing a stadium in downtown Hong Kong ahead of a town hall session by embattled city leader Carrie Lam, aimed at cooling down months of protests for greater democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

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