Hong Kong, Jul 7: Thousands of protesters took to the streets again on Sunday to keep up the pressure on the Hong Kong government to withdraw the extradition bill.
The march was the first since the storming of Hong Kong’s legislature by protesters on July 1, a move that drew strong condemnation from the Chinese and Hong Kong governments.
The demonstrators compromising mostly of young people marched through shopping areas popular with Chinese tourists, before ending up at the West Kowloon station, a new high-speed railway station that connects the city with mainland China.
Apart from calling for the full withdrawal of the bill, which the government has suspended, the demands have broadened to include democratic reforms.
Tensions erupted on July 1, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 return from British to Chinese rule, when hundreds of angry protesters stormed and vandalised the legislature.
For nearly three weeks now, political tensions in Hong Kong have risen amid protests over an extradition bill that would have allowed some arrested in the city to be sent for trial in mainland China. The bill has since been suspended, but protesters have called for it to be withdrawn completely.
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became a special administrative region of China under a “one country, two systems” framework with the territory’s legal system independent from the rest of the country. Many citizens of the financial hub have expressed concern that their civil rights are slowly being eroded under Beijing. (UNI)