Protests in Hong Kong expanded and thousands of demonstrators remained camped out in major streets in the semi-autonomous city on Monday, despite anti-riot police’s use of violence to disperse the massive pro-democracy rally dubbed as the “Occupy Central with Love and Peace.”
Instead of heeding to the government’s call to go home, Hong Kong protesters increased to tens of thousands on Monday after a violent dispersal in front of the city government’s office. CNN Reports that more than 40 people were injured when police used tear gas and pepper spray, and began hitting demonstrators with batons.
However protesters remained defiant and readied themselves to counter any attacks by the police to eject them from the streets.
The leaders of the pro-democracy demonstrations, the worst since Britain turned over the territory to China in 1997, announced a civil disobedience campaign on Sunday, closing major highways and effectively paralyzing the city, regarded as one of Asia’s largest financial districts.
The protesters are in a battle between city authorities over Beijing’s decision last month to allow Communist Party-selected candidates in Hong Kong’s first democratic elections in 2017, which they call as “fake democracy“.
Protesters demanded the Communist Party leaders overturn the decision and Hong Kong leaders to carry out political reforms and consultations, NBC News reports.
“The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people,” the group said in a statement.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Occupy Central with Love and Peace statement”]
Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act.