Anthony Kwan/Getty Photos
Anti-government protests in Hong Kong continued on Sunday as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to defy the ban on face masks that went into impact just days earlier.
Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam announced Friday that she would use colonial-era emergency powers to enforce the ban that targets these wearing face masks at public gatherings. Lam is the 1st to invoke these powers in extra than 50 years.
This came in the course of the similar week that mainland China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party’s ruling energy in the nation. Even though festivities, which includes a parade that showcased the country’s military could possibly had been held in Beijing, Hong Kong seasoned widespread unrest with violent protests that incorporated a pro-democracy protester becoming shot by police.
Lam’s selection set off extra violent protests on Friday evening, and a demonstration march on Saturday. The city’s metro method was properly shut down on Friday right after protesters started vandalizing stations. Even though some stations had been open on Sunday, a majority remained closed, according to the South China Morning Post.
Sunday’s protests began out peacefully as men and women started marching in the rain, but factors changed speedily when police fired tear gas into the crowds in an try to force them to disperse.
Protesters smashed in the storefronts to mainland Chinese banks and graffitied and tore up streets, leaving bricks strewn across roads to attempt and slow the advance of riot police.
As NPR’s Emily Feng reports, the progression from peaceful protests in the morning to battling with police in the streets at evening has grow to be a recognized pattern.
Tensions and violence have continued to rise involving the two groups, following police officers’ use of reside bullets on two protesters this week. The 18-year-old protester shot in the chest on Tuesday was critically injured. Yet another 14-year-old protester was shot in the leg on Friday, and reported to be in steady situation right after an operation, the South China Morning Post reports.
Amongst the protesters demands are pro-democracy reforms and an investigation into police officers’ use of violent force. But right after the face mask ban went into impact, protesters have been pushing back on what they worry could be the 1st step in their rights and freedoms becoming encroached upon.
Some of the protesters, pushing back on Beijing’s influence, have expressed concern that the mainland could interfere extra given that Lam’s selection to invoke emergency powers with the anti-mask ban.
But demonstrators have continued to put on masks in direct defiance of the ban. By carrying out so, they face a danger of up to one particular year in prison or a fine of 25,000 Hong Kong dollars. So several men and women have worn masks that the ban has been rendered virtually unenforceable by police.
Even so, some protesters think the danger is worth it. One particular 18-year-old protester told NPR’s Emily Feng, that he thinks if Hong Kong’s government can use these emergency powers to ban face masks, that it can also take away other civil liberties the area is afforded. He added that when there is wonderful danger in joining the protests, he believes it is worth it in order to defend his house.