Hong Kong protesters flee to Taiwan amid escalating tensions

Clay Curtis
December 9, 2019

The protests escalated in June over a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, but have now evolved into broader calls for democracy, among other demands.

But Lam has so far remained steadfast in her opposition to further concessions and the Chinese leadership in Beijing has stuck by the territory's leader despite her low approval ratings in Hong Kong.

Police warned that they would take "necessary action" if protesters neglected their instruction. It is the organization's first rally to be approved by police since August. "It only follows orders from the Chinese Communist Party". A Starbucks cafe, run by a franchise company seen as pro-Beijing, was also vandalized.

"Some rioters spray-painted the exterior walls of the High Court, threw petrol bombs and set fire outside the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal, damaging government properties and seriously challenging the spirit of the rule of law", police said, adding that shops and banks were vandalised in the Causeway Bay and Wan Chai areas of Hong Kong island.

It comes mere weeks after a local election resulted in a rise in pro-democracy candidates.

Unlike numerous recent protests which had been banned by police, the march on Sunday had a relaxed atmosphere and protesters were in high spirits.

But her protest turned heads, gave pause for thought and raised the question: How much longer can Hong Kong keep up its push to preserve its freedoms that make it unique among China's cities?

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Nearly hidden among the throngs of demonstrators who marched in Hong Kong today was one woman who crawled, literally on hands and knees on the rough road surface - an apt metaphor for the arduous path travelled by Hong Kong's protest movement in the past six months.

At Sunday's protest, chants of "five demands, not one less" rang out, referring to demands ranging from Lam's resignation to an amnesty for detainees.

Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, raising funds for victims of police brutality in the six-month movement, said to a crowd: "We want our freedoms back so our young people can regain the freedom from fear". "That really encouraged me because it's not just this generation but future generations, too".

A young couple was seen waving a giant USA flag during the protest Sunday.

"I am truly thank to the USA for this law".

Police said 11 people were arrested ahead of the rally in raids and that a handgun was seized. "There is nothing more we can do to change our political system and if we don't come out to fight there will never be an opportunity", said Joe Lai, 30.

Speaking at a media briefing, Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung of the Police Public Relations Branch called the number of students - 2,393 out of a total of 6,022 since June 9 - "worrying".

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