Thousands of protesters dressed in black participated in a mass anti-government rally in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on Sunday, a day after thousands of teachers took to the streets on the 11th weekend of unrest sparked by the now-shelved extradition bill.
Relief spread across the city as anti-government protests ended relatively peacefully on Saturday, with no tear gas fired, the South China Morning Post reported.
Sunday’s protest organiser, the Civil Human Rights Front, had applied to the police for a march from Causeway Bay to Central.
But police only allowed a rally within Victoria Park and said that the front could not ensure public safety given violence at recent protests.
The organisers have estimated that the rally will be attended by more than 100,000 people.
Civil Human Rights Front convenor Jimmy Sham said that while protesters have pressurised the government into suspending the now-shelved extradition bill, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China, the city police were carrying out Chinese-government-style suppression.
He criticised the police for firing tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds on the protesters and even near elderly-care homes.
“The people of Hong Kong are outraged at the government and police,” he further said.
“Fight will not be over even after Sunday’s rally ends”, he added.
Last month, Thousands of pro-democracy protesters defied a police ban and began marching through Hong Kong a day after riot-police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in the latest violent confrontation to plunge the financial hub deeper into crisis.
Huge crowds gathered in the heart of the city’s commercial district after police gave permission for a static protest in a park but banned a proposed march through the city.
The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms.