Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Hong Kong protesters march with mock coffin of city leader

Hong Kong protesters march with mock coffin of city leader

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, more protests are planned due to continued public skepticism over the government's intent.

Several thousand people marched on Saturday in Hong Kong to protest against mainland Chinese traders in a border town, tapping into sentiment behind huge demonstrations against an extradition bill to highlight another problem they see as having been mismanaged.

Police attack a protester in Hong Kong Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The protesters (whose numbers peaked at almost two million people in June according to organisers) are unlikely to cease taking to the streets in the short term.

The protest was the latest in a series that have roiled Hong Kong for more than a month.

Expressions on brightly-colored stickers adorn the walls, offering support, calling for the withdrawal of the draft legislation and criticizing the police's handling of related protests.

After the end of the Reclaim Sheung Shui protest against parallel traders who snap up goods such as foreign-made formula milk, medicines and soy sauce for reselling in China, in the town near the mainland border, hundreds of protesters put on goggles, face masks and hard hats and occupied the streets around the train station, which had been cordoned off for the police-sanctioned demonstration earlier.

On Saturday, the protesters chanted slogans in Mandarin asking Chinese traders to go home. Numerous stores were shuttered because of the protest.

The traders have always been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted Sheung Shui's identity.

Hong Kong's streets have once again descended into violence as protesters clashed with police who fought back the masses with riot shields, batons and pepper spray.

Tens of thousands of protesters staged an anti-extradition march last Sunday through one of the most popular tourist shopping areas in Kowloon, where they tried to win support from mainland Chinese tourists.

Millions of people have taken part in street protests, with hundreds even storming the legislature on July 1, against the now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial.

The anti-extradition demonstrations over the past month seem to have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong.

Ms Lam's government proposed the extradition legislation in February, igniting concerns that the rights and freedoms guaranteed to the former British colony for 50 years after its return to China are being chipped away at by a pro-Beijing government in Hong Kong.

"The government, Carrie Lam, some legislators in functional constituencies are not elected by the people, so there are many escalating actions in different districts to reflect different social issues", he said.

Similar protests have included a march last week by almost 2,000 people in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

"When we saw them taking photos of us in the crowd we had to react", said another protester, surnamed Chan, who declined to give his full name.

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