Riot police fire teargas after protesters ignore orders to restrict rally boundaries
Police and demonstrators have clashed after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in the citys largest demonstration in recent weeks.
Riot police armed with batons and shields fired teargas to disperse the crowd as protesters ran toward officers who tried to push them back from a main road in the western district near Beijings liaison office with the city. One demonstrator threw a bottle at police. Officers advanced on the crowd, setting off smoke bombs.
Smoke filled the air after several rounds of teargas were fired. Hundreds of protesters ran away in panic.
The clashes came after demonstrators defied police orders to restrict the boundaries of their rally, in a new and bold display of support for a political movement that shows few signs of slowing.
Protesters ignored police demands to end the march before reaching the heart of the business district in central Hong Kong and continued marching on to the Beijing liaison office.
They graffitied the walls of the building and called for a revolution of the century. The Chinese Communist party brings chaos to Hong Kong, another said. Protesters set up barricades with metal fences and threw eggs before calling on the crowd to retreat as vans of riot police took up positions near them.
Elderly protesters holding flowers as a sign of peace pledged to stay until the younger protesters had left. Other demonstrators set up barricades with dismantled metal fences.
Organisers estimated that about 430,000 people had attended the march on Sunday, which marks the seventh consecutive weekend when citizens have come out against the government. The protests, which began over the now-suspended bill, have grown into a wider democracy movement in the Chinese territory. Protesters are also calling for an investigation into alleged police brutality against unarmed protesters in previous rallies.
The government hasnt responded, so we just need to keep coming out, said Catherine Sin, 21, a recent graduate who said this was the fourth protest she had attended in the last month.