Hong Kong: Hundreds take part in teachers' rally braving downpour
Hong Kong: Hundreds take part in teachers' rally braving downpour
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18 August, 2019, 08:55
They said the government should answer the protesters' demands and stop using what they called police violence to disperse demonstrators who take over streets and besiege and deface government buildings.
Teachers said they want to show their support for the protesters, many of whom are students.
During the past week they have increasingly directed their frustrations toward police, who have responded with fiercer determination to clear them from the streets.
Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the worldwide finance hub into crisis, with the communist-ruled mainland taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like".
In Hong Kong, democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh rallies on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week - and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move.
Among other demands, protesters want the complete withdrawal of a controversial bill - now suspended - that would allow extraditions to mainland China.
Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the worldwide finance hub into crisis and communist-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like".
Last week, Cathay Pacific had told its staff it would not stop them joining the pro-democracy demonstrations now sweeping Hong Kong.
"We all feel tensions are building and the level of stress is increasing", one front-line protester, Pun, 22, told Reuters during a sit-in at the global airport earlier in the week.
It is believed the devices the Chinese forces were training with are electrified but this has not yet been verified. Riot police formed a line on a nearby street, thumping their batons on their shields as they started marching.
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The airport is one of the world's busiest, and the Airport Authority has obtained a temporary injunction banning protesters from entering certain areas.
The park has always been used as the staging point for the city's years of democracy protests and will host today's demonstration.
But many Hong Kongers feel those freedoms are being eroded, especially since China's hardline president Xi Jinping came to power.
The bill would allow residents to be extradited from Hong Kong to China, something protestors say could heighten risk for activists and those critical of China.
"There are two sides to the story", said counter-protester Sarah Zhang, adding that she felt Hong Kong benefited under Chinese-government rule.
Clashes became noticeably fiercer during the past week.
Battles between police firing tear gas and rubber bullets, and hardcore protesters using rocks, molotovs and slingshots, have since become routine in an worldwide finance hub once renowned for stability.
Police stations have been surrounded and attacked 76 times during the crisis, police said. Nor have they used water cannon - two were purchased in 2014 - or unleashed the force's dog squad on protesters.
The United States has warned China against involving its military and said it would potentially hit the country's economy hard because Hong Kong is so important. "We are in a far better position to have a more efficient and rapid response".
A chorus of other central banks including those in India, Thailand and the Philippines also cut rates during the week. President Donald Trump was quick to slam the Federal Reserve and call the notion of an inverted yield curve "crazy".
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Police had to escort a lone pro-democracy supporter from the Sydney event after he was set upon by a mob of angry demonstrators. At least 748 protesters have been arrested ever since the protests broke out in Hong Kong , according to the police on Friday.
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