Hong Kong protesters defy police ban, demand real autonomy
HONG KONG (AP) — Defying a police ban, thousands of black-clad masked protesters are streaming into Hong Kong’s central shopping district for another rally demanding a meaningful autonomy after Beijing indicated it could tighten its grip on the territory.
The protests began in June over a now-shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China but have since swelled into a movement seeking direct elections for Hong Kong’s leaders as the city was promised it when Britain returned it to China in 1997.
Scores of protesters occupied streets at the upscale Causeway Bay shopping area Saturday, chanting pro-democracy slogans. Another big crowd has converged at the nearby Victoria Park.
Riot police conducted searches and issued warnings that the rally was illegal and protesters violating a government ban on masks.