The Latest: 2nd Hong Kong rally starts a day after clashes
HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
The second rally of the day in Hong Kong has started in a party atmosphere where protesters hung a banner demanding the withdrawal of a proposed extradition law that prompted anti-government demonstrations.
A flutist and a trumpeter played “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the musical “Les Miserables,” which has become a rallying song for protests that have taken place regularly in Hong Kong for two months.
Cara Lee, a 53-year-old insurance agent who was attending her 13th demonstration, said: I feel ashamed because for a long time we didn’t do anything. But now we are awake. I have to speak out for the next generation. It’s our moral responsibility.”
The first of two planned protests in Hong Kong on Sunday has kicked off from a public park as a sea of umbrellas filled the streets.
Light rain fell on the demonstrators who had parasols at the ready. Since Occupy Central protests in 2014, umbrellas have been a prime symbol of the city’s pro-democracy movements.
A peaceful rally in a different district Saturday devolved after some protesters refused to disperse upon reaching the police-approved endpoint. Similar to previous weeks, the night ended in violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police. The police fired tear gas to clear out crowds, who in turn hurled bricks and other objects.
For nearly two months, the semi-autonomous Chinese city has been rocked by mass protests calling for greater democratic freedoms and government accountability.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung has offered 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,720) to members of the public who can provide information about the person who threw the Chinese national flag into the water during a pro-democracy protest.
Leung is the predecessor of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who is now facing the same calls to resign that he once confronted.
After a rally Saturday continued past its designated end point, some protesters scaled a flag pole, removed from it the Chinese flag and flung the flag into an iconic harbor.
Leung said on his Facebook page that the act will provoke “enormous resentment from the entire nation.” He pledged the cash award to anyone who provides clues about the “insane person” behind it.
Hong Kong police have arrested more than 20 people for unlawful assembly and assault after confrontations between protesters and authorities continued deep into the night.
Police say some violent protesters hurled petrol bombs, bricks, glass bottles and other objects at officers and refused to disperse at the pre-approved location on Saturday.
A peaceful pro-democracy rally devolved after protesters ignored police appeals to stick to the designated route, instead splintering off to various locations across Hong Kong’s northern Kowloon area. Some blocked streets and a major tunnel while others surrounded two different police stations, damaging vehicles parked inside one lot.
Hong Kong has been rocked by nearly two months of mass demonstrations calling for greater democratic rights and government accountability.
Fresh rallies are expected Sunday ahead of a general strike Monday.