' 1.7 million' take part in Hong Kong protests

Cathay Pacific A350 B-LRN(Flickr

Cathay Pacific A350 B-LRN(Flickr

Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrators expressed love for Hong Kong and China, and posed for photos with police officers.

The Civil and Human Rights Front (CHRF)'s Bonnie Leung said the group expects a huge turnout and is urging protesters to gather nonviolently.

It was the second time in a week that Chinese officials have publicly likened the protests to terrorist activity. He said he has asked for police support to keep the peace. "It didn't used to be like this".

"I don't think we can accomplish our goals using only one tactic", said one protester, requesting anonymity. "In Canada we show zero tolerance to this kind of intimidation and harassment".

Ken Tang, a pro-Hong Kong protester, told the broadcaster that the pro-Beijing demonstrators "do not understand the concept of democracy, freedom and rights". "Now to see it become like this, I'm not happy, so I've come out to show a little strength".

Here again a counter-protest took place with twice as many Chinese waving mainland flags and denouncing the "violence" of "the Hong Kong rioters".

Mr You called the comments "a gross violation of the spirit of the rule of law, a blatant double standard and a gross interference in China's internal affairs".

"Today Hong Kong, tomorrow Asia and the next day Europe", one protester's placard read.

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One of the organizers of the rally told CNA that the Hong Kong government does not take public opinion seriously and is completely under Beijing's thumb.

A government spokesman said the protests were generally peaceful, but they had disrupted traffic badly. "But we have to be here because we have no other choice", said a 24-year-old student named Jonathan who was at the rally that began in Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong island.

Demands include democratic reforms as well as the resignation of the city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam.

It is the financial hub's 11th consecutive week of pro-democracy protests, however this was the largest crowd to have hit the streets since the initial June 16 march, which organisers estimated drew more than two million people.

"Our freedom of expression is threatened". We're not doing anything wrong. "If we get a negative response, we can not control the next (gathering)".

They marched westward towards the central business district in defiance of police, which had banned the march citing security reasons.

Some applauded when the stragglers who had stayed out shining laser pointers at the government building retreated.

Members of China's paramilitary People's Armed Police force have been training for days across the border in Shenzhen, including on Sunday morning, fueling speculation that they could be sent in to suppress the protests. Dozens of army-green armored carriers and trucks were parked inside and outside the facility.

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Hong Kong police, however, have said they are capable of handling the protests.

She also said the opposing group had allegedly harassed some of their volunteers.

Outside of Hong Kong, demonstrations were held in support of both the pro-democracy movement and China.

The rally, billed as anti-violence, had many participants waving Chinese flags and singing the Chinese national anthem.

US Congress has the power to pass legislation affecting Hong Kong's relationship with the US in ways that could further erode the territory's reputation for stability and rule of law.

Fung said that instead of marching, the group will remain outside Old City Hall in "peaceful protest".

The statement said that both Canada and the European Union support Hong Kong's "high degree of autonomy" within China, as well as its residents' right to peaceful assembly.

"They are being beaten and they are being injured, and also they are arrested by the government". "Arrests should be a natural outcome. We all have a duty to stand up speak out", she said.

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After nightfall many thousands of protesters continued to walk through the city streets, most without the masks or helmets that have typified the protest movement.

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