Hong Kong sees biggest protests since democrats' election boost

A miniature figure wearing artist Guy Fawkes mask and a sign reading

Hong Kong prepares for mass march as protesters keep up pressure

Public pressure has been building after pro-democracy candidates scored a sweeping victory in district council elections last month.

At Sunday's protest, chants of "five demands, not one less" rang out, referring to demands ranging from Lam's resignation to an amnesty for detainees. Fight the Traitors Together also uses Chinese government propaganda by showing shadowy characters with American flags on their shoulders paying cash to protesters.

The rally was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, the same group that organized the earlier marches that drew millions of people.

The mood at the march was relaxed, with people taking selfies against a backdrop of the vast crowds. "I am urging the protesters today to pay extra attention to their surroundings and leave the scene and report to the police if there are signs of danger".

A sea of protesters, spread across several miles, filled major thoroughfares as they moved between towering skyscrapers.

"Ignoring our voices will only make the snowball get bigger and bigger and there will be consequences to that", Ms Bonnie Leung, a prominent figure within the pro-democracy movement's more moderate wing, told AFP.

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Mr Mung Siu-tat, the head of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Confederation of Trade Unions, said more than 30 newly founded unions have reached out for help in recent weeks.

Wong declined to comment specifically on their cases and said it was speculation that their refusal was linked to Beijing's response to USA legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, RTHK said.

Police warned that they would take "necessary action" if protesters neglected their instruction.

"It's Christmas time soon but we're not in the mood to celebrate anymore", said Lawrence, a 23-year-old student.

"We hope this will be a signature for our movement after six months to show to Carrie Lam as well as to the world that people are not giving up".

But it has made no indication that it will meet any of the other demands of protesters, which include an independent investigation into police conduct and the long-held goal of direct elections for Hong Kong leaders. "It only follows orders from the Chinese Communist Party". "You can see how determined Hong Kong people are", said demonstrator Justin Ng, a 20-year-old student. It has since morphed into calls for greater democratic freedoms and sometimes violent protests. He has publicly endorsed the city's beleaguered leader, Carrie Lam, to bring an end to the unrest. "So we must do as much as we can.We want to stay in Hong Kong, and we want our kids to have the freedom we did, and to know their rights". Hong Kong was described as a city freer than most, instead of a place losing its liberties.

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Lam said would give a "full account" of what has happened in the city when she goes to Beijing on Saturday for her regular duty visit, which typically involves a meeting with President Xi Jinping.

"Hong Kong people are really tough", says Brian Fong, a political scientist and former government official.

"We understand our common enemy", he said. The events were largely peaceful but violent acts were still reported as some rioters set fire outside two Hong Kong courts and vandalized shops. We can't fight themes but we can slow them down, by throwing some bricks or creating a roadblock.

Authorities have justified their efforts to crack down on the movement by saying that protesters are endangering public safety.

Around 6000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, including police, since June.

Activists plan another rally on Tuesday evening near the heart of the financial centre to mark International Human rights Day.

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Demonstrators said they believed that the turnout sent a strong message: The protest movement would not back down.

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