Hong Kong Elders, Youths Vow to Keep Up Pro-Democracy Fight - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Hong Kong Elders, Youths Vow to Keep Up Pro-Democracy Fight

Many are angry over a perceived erosion of their rights promised when the ex-British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

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    Hong Kong Elders, Youths Vow to Keep Up Pro-Democracy Fight
    Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images
    Pro-democracy demonstrators take part in a rally of school-aged youths and senior citizens at Chater garden in Hong Kong on Nov. 30, 2019. Protests in Hong Kong erupted nearly six months ago in response to proposed legislation that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland, but have snowballed into demands for greater freedoms in the city

    Hundreds of silver-haired activists joined young Hong Kong protesters for a unity rally Saturday, vowing that their monthslong movement will not fade away until there is greater democracy in the Chinese territory.

    The rally at a park downtown was among several peaceful gatherings by protesters this week to keep up pressure on the government amid a lull in violence following a local election victory by the pro-democracy bloc and the gaining of U.S. support for their cause.

    A local boys' band belted out songs to tell protesters that "the whole Hong Kong is supporting you." Speakers reminded the crowd that it wasn't time to celebrate and that the fight for real autonomy must persist.

    The protesters are angry over creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong that they say is eroding their rights promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

    Trapped Hong Kong Protesters Rappel Down Hoses to Escape

    [NATL] Trapped Hong Kong Protesters Rappel Down Hoses to Escape

    Harrowing footage shows protesters trapped inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University rappelling down hoses to escape a police siege. About 100 anti-government protesters remain inside the university on a third day of clashes between protesters and police. 

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019)

    "The government wants us to desert the front-liners and young protesters, but we will stick with them," rally organizer Tam Kwok-sun, 64, said to loud cheers from the crowd. "Sometimes their actions are violent and aggressive, but we are more unhappy with the government's behavior."

    Since the unrest broke out in June, protesters have disrupted traffic, smashed public facilities and pro-China shops, and hurled gasoline bombs in pitched battles with riot police who have responded with volleys of tear gas and water cannons.

    The occupation of several universities by protesters earlier this month after fiery clashes with police capped one of the most violent chapters in the turmoil, which has contributed to the city's first recession in a decade.

    Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, has appealed for the current calm to continue but has refused to bow to protesters' demands, which include free elections for her post and the legislature as well as an independent probe into alleged police brutality.

    "It's still a very early stage of the revolution," a masked activist, who gave her name as Mai, 26, said Saturday. "People are tired physically and mentally, so we are waiting for the right moment for a fightback."

    Hong Kong police have arrested 5,890 people as a result of the protests.

    Hong Kong Protesters Fight With Fire as Police Storm University

    [NATL] Hong Kong Protesters Fight With Fire as Police Storm University

    Police breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 18, 2019)

    "The government is still stubborn. Every one of us, young and old, must contribute in our own way. The movement will not stop," a woman, 63, who identified herself as Mrs. Tam, said as she distributed Japanese honey candies to slogan-chanting young activists at the park.

    Protesters this week have urged Britain and other countries to follow U.S. footsteps in legislating laws to support its cause.

    A new U.S. law prescribes sanctions on officials found guilty of human rights abuses and requires an annual review of a special trade status for Hong Kong. Another bans the export of certain nonlethal munitions to Hong Kong police.

    China has warned of strong countermeasures and Hong Kong's government has slammed the U.S. move as unwarranted meddling in its affairs.

    Chinese state media reported Saturday that Lee Henley, also identified as Hu Xiang and a citizen of an unidentified foreign country, was arrested on suspicion of "funding activities threatening China's national security, including allegedly conspiring with foreign forces to support Hong Kong riots."

    The reports also said a Taiwanese man, Lee Meng Chu, was held for "allegedly spying and leaking China's national secrets" and backing the Hong Kong protests. Beijing had confirmed earlier that Lee was held after he went missing during a trip to mainland China in August, but didn't give details.

    Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Violence Escalates

    [NATL] Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Protest Violence Escalates

    Hong Kong’s government is refusing to compromise after one pro-democracy protester was shot and another set on fire in a rare weekday protest. The five-month protest has seen a steady rise in violence, with both pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong government refusing to give ground.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)

    In August, a British Consulate employee in Hong Kong was arrested during a trip to the mainland and was freed 15 days later after confessing to soliciting prostitution. But Simon Cheng says it was a forced confession and that he was tortured by Chinese police and pressed for information about Hong Kong's activists.

    More rallies are being planned in Hong Kong for Sunday, including an anti-tear gas protest and a gratitude march to the U.S. Consulate.