De­fi­ant Hong Kong pro­test­ers vow huge rally de­spite Bei­jing warn­ings

Fiji Sun - - Asia News - Hong Kong: AFP Feed­back: JY­[email protected]­JISUN.COM.FJ

Hong Kong pro­test­ers were hop­ing to get out a huge crowd yes­ter­day in a bid to show the city’s lead­ers that their protest move­ment re­mains de­fi­ant de­spite in­creas­ingly stark warn­ings from Bei­jing.

10 weeks of demon­stra­tions have plunged the in­ter­na­tional fi­nance hub into cri­sis and com­mu­nistruled main­land China has taken an in­creas­ingly hard­line tone, in­clud­ing la­belling the more vi­o­lent pro­tester ac­tions “ter­ror­ist-like”. Clashes have bro­ken out be­tween po­lice and hard­core pro­test­ers but the move­ment has won few con­ces­sions from Bei­jing or the city’s un­elected lead­er­ship.

Last Tues­day, pro­test­ers blocked pas­sen­gers from board­ing flights at the city’s air­port and later as­saulted two men they ac­cused of be­ing Chi­nese spies.

The im­ages dam­aged a cam­paign that un­til then had largely only tar­geted the Po­lice or gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, and prompted some soulsearch­ing among pro­test­ers. China’s pro­pa­ganda ap­pa­ra­tus seized on the vi­o­lence, with state me­dia churn­ing out a del­uge of damn­ing ar­ti­cles, pic­tures and videos. State me­dia also ran im­ages of mil­i­tary per­son­nel and ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers across the bor­der in Shen­zhen, prompt­ing the United States to warn Bei­jing against send­ing in troops, which an­a­lysts say would be a rep­u­ta­tional and eco­nomic dis­as­ter for China.

In the af­ter­math of Tues­day’s air­port chaos, some pro­tester groups apol­o­gised and vowed to hold a huge rally on Sun­day.

Protests at Hong Kong air­port.

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