Huge crowd takes Hong Kong protest message to US consulate
A huge crowd of pro-democracy activists marched to the United States consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday in a bid to ramp up international pressure on Beijing following three months of huge and sometimes violent protests.
Millions have taken to Hong Kong’s streets over the last 14 weeks in the biggest challenge to China’s rule since the city’s handover from Britain in 1997.
The protests were ignited by a now scrapped plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland, seen by opponents as the latest move by China to chip away at the international finance hub’s unique freedoms.
But after Beijing and city leaders took a hard line the movement snowballed into a broader campaign calling for greater democracy, police accountability and an amnesty for those arrested.
Sunday’s protest was yet another massive turnout for a movement that has gripped the semi-autonomous territory and plunged it into a political crisis.
Dense crowds of protesters — many waving US flags, others singing the Star Spangled Banner — spent hours slowly filing past Washington’s consulate in the thick tropical heat.
They called on the US to pressure Beijing to meet their demands and for Congress to pass a recently proposed bill that expresses support for the protest.
“More than 1,000 protesters have been arrested. We can’t do anything but come out onto the streets, I feel hopeless,” 30-year-old protester Jenny Chan, told AFP.
“I think aside from foreign countries, no one can really help us,” she added.