Pro-democracy protests continued in Hong Kong on Friday, Sept. 6, with people taking to the streets and some lighting fires as a burning barricade on city streets.
Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray, as hundreds of protesters, many of them masked and dressed in black, took shelter behind umbrellas and barricades used for street fencing.
Angry bystanders in Mong Kok chant slogans to mock police officers who have blocked their ways. You to judge whether withdrawing the extradition bill alone works pic.twitter.com/2LC8q1VOEV
— Chris Lau (@hkchrislau) September 6, 2019
The face-offs happened two days after the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that her government would officially withdraw the extradition bill that sparked the summer’s massive demonstrations.
Pro-democracy lawmaker and member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Claudia Mo denounced Lam’s announcement. “The Carrie Lam concession, so-called concession has come too little, too late. The damage is done,” said Mo, who continued, “The scars and wounds are still bleeding in Hong Kong.”
Activist leader Joshua Wong also stated that Lam’s decision has come “too late.”
Wong, who is the secretary general of the Hong Kong pro-democracy party Demosisto, said, “We need to declare that our protest must continue at least until 1st of October, that’s China’s National Day.”
“Hong Kong people, we will never stop until Hong Kong is the place with democracy and freedom,” said Wong.
The 22-year-old leader called for all five demands to be met.
“We urge [the] government completely withdraw the bill; we demand [the] government to stop the arrest and prosecution, not to define protesters as rioters, set up independent inquiry on police brutality, and a final and the most important one is free elections,” said Wong.
But Lam’s response is unyielding. Speaking in Cantonese at a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 5, Lam once again adopted a hard stance.
“To get out of the deadlock, the most important thing in front of us, is to stop violence, sternly enforce the law, in order to reinstall peace in Hong Kong,” said the Hong Kong leader.
Meanwhile, protests and face-offs with police continued through the island city and could intensify over the weekend.
The Hong Kong youth activists vowed not to yield until the government fulfills all five demands.
They took to the streets with their new slogan, “Five key demands, not one less,” in reply to Lam’s announcement to withdraw the proposed extradition bill. That would allow the Chinese communist regime to extradite—Hong Kong residents and including foreigners—to mainland China for trial.
Many see this controversial bill as a glaring example of Hong Kong’s flaking autonomy since the former British colony was returned to Chinese communist control in 1997.