Defiant Hong Kong protesters vow huge rally despite Beijing warnings
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.