Socialist Worker

Protesters build barricades to defy police repression in Hong Kong

Issue No. 2669

Battles on the streets of Hong Kong

Battles on the streets of Hong Kong (Pic: Flickr/Studio Incendo)


Tens of thousands of people defied police repression in Hong Kong over the weekend, marking the 12th week of mass protests. 

Protesters used bamboo and traffic cones to obstruct police as they marched down the city’s main street on Sunday. They filled Tsuen Wan Park chanting, “Fight for freedom—stand with Hong Kong”. 

The police tried to disperse the crowd using tear gas and—for the first time—water cannon. 

But protesters retaliated by throwing petrol bombs and bricks.

The fighting came after protesters set up barricades after a march in the Kowloon Bay area on Saturday. 

The weekend of protest began the previous day. Some 5,000 accountants joined the mobilisations for the first time, marching alongside lawyers and workers, including teachers and health workers. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers offered some accountants free lunches in a bid to stop them walking out.

Bosses have increasingly turned to intimidation. 

Cathay Dragon fired flight attendant Rebecca Sy, the head of the cabin crew union, last week. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions called on the airline to “respect the freedom of speech” of workers.

Chains 

On Friday protesters formed human chains on both sides of the city’s harbour. Organisers said the chains would be “a show of solidarity to those united against the extradition treaty and police violence and a plea for international help”.

The protest came on the 30th anniversary of The Baltic Way, a human chain that stretched 370 miles along the baltic coast on August 23 1989. People in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were demanding democratic rights and independence from Stalinist Russia. 

The movement in Hong Kong began after the city’s leader Carrie Lam tried to introduce an extradition bill. The law would have made it easier for the Chinese regime to target political opponents.

China has run Hong Kong as a “special autonomous territory” since 1997 when British colonial rule ended.

Lam was forced to suspend the bill. 

But protesters’ demands have broadened to demand the bill’s full withdrawal, Lam’s resignation and an inquiry into police violence. And the mobilisations show no sign of abating.


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