Thousands of residents participated in Hong Kong’s rally on Wednesday night, June 26, to oppose the proposed extradition bill that they fear will take away the city’s freedom.
They were rallying to appeal to world leaders at the G-20 Osaka summit that will bring together the U.S. President Donald J. Trump and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week.
The protesters held a noisy but peaceful daylong demonstration outside the Hong Kong police headquarters. They were calling for the release of those pro-democracy protesters detained during this month’s massive demonstration.
Wearing masks and caps, the crowd of all ages gathered peacefully to listen to rally speeches in a public square. Some held up their smartphone with the lights on.
Police attendance was light. There were only a few officers observing from a distance.
Legislative Council member Alvin Yeung expressed his wish for the rally to stay the way it was. “Judging from the atmosphere, it seems like the young protesters, they just simply want to surround the police headquarters,” said Yeung who added that he did not think the situation would escalate for the worse.
Yeung then added, “It’s the chief executive’s responsibility and duty to calm people down. An empty apology of course is not enough, and we find out by now.”
After the rally, younger protesters gathered outside a nearby police station. Some throw eggs at the police headquarters. Others demanded loudly for an independent inquiry over the police’s rough crackdown during a protest earlier this month.
Yeung stated that the Hong Kong people “have their demands, and they are all reasonable demands.”
“I have absolutely no idea why this government is not paying attention or answering to these requests or demands,” uttered Yeung.
This month’s protests were triggered by the proposed law that would allow the Chinese Communist Party to extradite suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial.
Many residents are afraid the bill will further disintegrate Hong Kong’s judicial independence and the civil liberties of the semi-autonomous city that was guaranteed after its handover from British rule in 1997.
The Hong Kong government has postponed the debate on the legislation indefinitely after earlier protests. But pro-democracy activists are demanding that the bill be withdrawn completely.