- The group of demonstrators called for a reform to the region's laws to allow them to elect the local Chief Executive directly.
- At least four people were arrested in the area for possession of crude weapons, including hammers and wrenches.
- The protesters asked the population to keep the protest movement alive during 2020.
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong this Sunday to participate in a demonstration in demand of universal suffrage in legislative elections, scheduled for September this year. The protest was eventually canceled at the request of the police, which led to more clashes between security agents and the radical protesters.
The group of demonstrators called for a reform to the region’s laws to allow them to elect the local Chief Executive directly. It urged the international community to impose sanctions on the Hong Kong government if the change does not come into effect. The organizers initially requested authorization for a protest. The police only agreed to a static assembly in a park close to the Legislative Council, claiming that violence had been witnessed during previous protests.
Thousands of people gathered under a cloudy sky at Chater Park before heading towards Chater Road, in the city’s commercial center. Most of the participants wore black shirts, the usual color of the Hong Kong protestors, and some carried American as well as British flags. “We want real universal suffrage,” the protestors shouted. “Disband the police force, free Hong Kong!”
After an hour and a half of protests, protesters began marching down Chater Road, prompting the police to demand that the march be stopped, claiming that some participants had started throwing stones and Molotov cocktails along the way. According to information released by the police through Facebook, some participants blocked the roads with umbrellas and furniture, removed bricks from the sidewalk, and broke some traffic lights. The police released tear gas to disperse the crowd. According to the police, the dispersion occurred after protesters threw water and ink bottles at the police.
At least four people were arrested in the area for possession of crude weapons, including hammers and wrenches, said security forces, who used tear gas several times to disperse the protesters. Also, two policemen were beaten by the demonstrators. The police reiterated in a statement on Facebook that acts of such nature cannot be tolerated.
The protesters asked the population to keep the protest movement alive during 2020 and reminded the government, through shouting and placards, of the demands of the pro-democracy movement. Hong Kong has been plunged into street protests for seven months, some of them violent, which have led to its worst crisis in decades.
Among the demands, the main one was the withdrawal of the bill for the extradition of prisoners to China, which has already been achieved. They now want an independent investigation of what they consider to be police brutality in the face of the protests, the release of the more than 6,000 detainees to date, the protests to no longer be considered riots, and the right to elect the Chief Executive by universal suffrage.