Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to mark the six months since protests broke out in the global financial hub, BBC reported. Initially, the protests were against a controversial extradition bill, but evolved into wider demonstrations against the rule of the Communist Party of China.
Sunday’s demonstrations were the first time the police allowed the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front to organise a rally in the city. The police arrested 11 people ahead of the demonstration, and seized a handgun. “I will fight for freedom until I die,” said June, a 40-year-old mother, who participated in the march.
The march was peaceful, with people taking selfies against a backdrop of the multitude of demonstrators who turned out. Small businesses encouraged people to turn out for the march by promising online gifts if over a million people joined the march, reported The New York Times.
“It only takes one dictator to destroy the safeguard of human rights, but to safeguard a person’s rights must take the common efforts of everyone,” said Civil Human Rights Front Convener Jimmy Sham told protestors ahead of the march.
Meanwhile, two American business leaders – Tara Joseph and Robert Grieves, the president and the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong – on Saturday were denied entry to Macau, a semi-autonomous region in South China that is an hour’s boat ride from Hong Kong.
They scheduled to attend an annual ball held by the organisation’s Macau branch. “We are puzzled as to why this happened, given this was simply a social occasion to celebrate AmCham Macau’s annual gathering,” said Joseph. She added that neither she nor Grieves were provided a reason by the Chinese authorities. This comes at a time the relations between the two countries are strained because of perceived American support for the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, and a trade war.