HONG KONG, Dec. 30 (Reuters / EP) –
Hong Kong will conclude 2019 with multiple protests planned for New Year's Eve and New Year in the financial center, where clashes between police and protesters have increased this Christmas.
Protests are scheduled for Tuesday, on New Year's Eve, throughout the city, including the Lan Kwai Fong and Victoria Harbor districts, as well as in well-known shopping centers, local media reported.
In addition, the pro-democracy march planned for January 1 has received police permission and will begin at a Causeway Bay park to end in the financial district of Hong Kong.
The Civil Front for Human Rights was behind the peaceful marches that took place in June and has supported the protests during this month of December, which assure that they have counted with the participation of about 800,000 people.
“On New Year's Day we need to show our solidarity and resistance to the Government. We hope that the citizens of Hong Kong will take to the streets for the future,” said Front leader Jimmy Sham.
The Hong Kong Police have ensured that controls will be developed and urged protesters to make the protests peaceful.
In a Facebook post, police commissioner Chris Tang has thanked his agents for ensuring “security and stability” in Hong Kong and has sent a warning to protesters. “If you use violence, you will not receive public support. We, the Police, will do everything we can to stop you,” he said.
In addition, it is anticipated that in the protests planned for the New Year the confrontations of Christmas day will continue, when the Riot Police used tear gas against thousands of protesters after clashes occurred in different shopping centers.
The demonstrations began in June in response to the bill that allowed extraditions to China, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and what they said would mean a cut in the fundamental freedoms of the region.
China, on the other hand, denies these requests and ensures that it is committed to the formula of “one country, two systems”, in addition to blaming foreign countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, for inciting protests.
The protests, which are now seven months old, have reduced their intensity in recent weeks, although they are still carried out almost daily. Since its inception, more than 2,000 have been injured and about 6,000 have been arrested.
Although there is no official death count, student Chow Tsz Lok died from a major fall in a pro-democracy march in November. In addition, a large number of suicides have been linked among people related to the movement.
“For the majority of Hong Kong people, Christmas and New Year don't mean anything anymore,” said Roger Mak, a 35-year-old protester. “We are fighting for our future,” he added.
Over the weekend, police officers have arrested 34 people and used pepper spray to deter protesters. This same Monday night hundreds of people have gathered in the central district in memory of people who have died or been injured in the protests.
The protests have also affected the Hong Kong economy, also marked by the trade war between the United States and China. According to the figures, exports have fallen 1.4 percent in November compared to the previous year, while imports have dropped 5.8 percent.