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Elders join youths in Hong Kong rallies

People participating in an anti-government protest on Saturday.

People participating in an anti-government protest on Saturday.  

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“I have seen so much police brutality and unlawful arrests. This is not the Hong Kong I know,” said a 71-year-old woman.

Secondary school students and retirees joined forces to protest in Hong Kong on Saturday, the first of several weekend rallies planned across the city, as pro-democracy activists vowed to battle what they say are police brutality and unlawful arrests.

A local boys’ band belted out songs to tell protesters that “the whole Hong Kong is supporting you.” Speakers reminded the crowd that it wasn’t time to celebrate and that the fight for real autonomy must persist. The protesters are angry over creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong that they say is eroding their rights promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

“The government wants us to desert the front-liners and young protesters, but we will stick with them,” rally organiser Tam Kwok-sun, 64, said to loud cheers from the crowd. “Sometimes their actions are violent and aggressive, but we are more unhappy with the government’s behavior.”

“I came out for the peaceful protest in June when there was more than one million people, but the government did not listen to our demands,” said a 71-year-old woman in Hong Kong’s Central district who only gave her name as Ponn.

“I have seen so much police brutality and unlawful arrests. This is not the Hong Kong I know,” said Ms. Ponn.

Although the protests were sparked by an extradition bill that was later scrapped, demonstrators have been making “five demands” that include universal suffrage in choosing the city’s leader and an independent inquiry into police use of force.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 12:24:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/elders-join-youths-in-hong-kong-rallies/article30125799.ece

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