HONG KONG (CHINA), Sep 28 (Reuters / EP) –
The Hong Kong Police have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters concentrated in the center of the former British colony on the fifth anniversary of the Central Occupy movement that drove the protests of the Yellow Umbrella Revolution predecessor of the current mobilizations against the central Chinese government. This is the 17th consecutive week of protests, initiated in response to an extradition bill to China already withdrawn.
Protesters have launched rubble and broken the windows of some official buildings in the immediate vicinity of the local headquarters of the Chinese Army, an increase in tension that occurs very close to the events for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China planned for next Tuesday.
Many of the protesters have participated in the calls dressed entirely in black and wearing masks and have used the emblematic umbrellas to protect themselves from water cannons, dyed blue to facilitate the subsequent identification of the attendees.
In addition, protesters have once again resorted to confrontation and withdrawal tactics and laser pointers, this time aimed at a helicopter flying over the area. “An important group and demonstrators are on Harcourt Street. They have thrown bricks at the police. Their actions pose a serious threat to the safety of the people who are in the place,” said the Police.
Later, the protesters have retired to the Central district, business and tourism epicenter, where many luxury stores and bank headquarters have closed their doors for fear of riots, although there have been no incidents. They have also closed several stations of the MTR metro system, the usual objective of the protesters.
There have been arrests in the Causeway Bay district, east of the central district, although no major clashes have occurred.
The Yellow Umbrella Movement blocked the center of Hong Kong for 79 days to demand greater democratization and protest against the Hong Kong authorities and their follow-up in Beijing.
“It's a special day for Hong Kong protests. We will stay together to fight for freedom,” said one of the participants, Sam, 33. “Most people thought that Hong Kong was dying after five years, but there are many people who are still fighting for Hong Kong,” he said.
Hong Kong has been the scene of protests since June. They began with the aim of curbing a law of extradition to mainland China but in these three months they have been increasing until claiming a democratic opening.
The Government of Carrie Lam finally agreed to cancel the controversial law and has called for a national dialogue to respond to the discontent of the Hong Kong people, but has refused the other demands, which contemplate universal suffrage.
These mobilizations represent the biggest challenge for Hong Kong since the 2014 Umbrella Revolution just when the Communist Party of China (PPCh) is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.