Tens of thousands of protesters return to streets in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of protesters return to streets in Hong Kong
© ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong residents filled the streets on Sunday for the second week in a row, protesting a suspended bill that would allow some suspects to be extradited to the Chinese mainland, according to The Associated Press.

Tens of thousands of protesters demanded Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam resign even after her announcement that she would suspend the legislation, according to the AP.

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“Our demands are simple. Carrie Lam must leave office, the extradition law must be withdrawn and the police must apologize for using extreme violence against their own people,” said John Chow, a bank employee, according to the AP. “And we will continue.”

The demonstrations followed an protest last Wednesday when officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the AP. The police presence was comparatively subdued Sunday, the news service noted, mainly directing traffic.

Despite Lam’s suspension of the bill, activists have called for a general strike on Monday until the government pulls the proposed amendment altogether, according to the AP.

“We encourage all the public to carry on the campaign,” said Bonnie Leung of the pro-democracy group Civil Human Rights Front, according to the news service. “If any new violence takes place, it will be the responsibility of the police.”

Lam has said she will not withdraw the bill and that it is necessary to prevent the island from becoming a destination for Chinese fugitives, according to the AP. In the past, China has not been included in the island’s extradition agreements due to human rights concerns.

The demonstrations come after protests last Sunday that are believed to have topped 1 million participants. The diverse participants in the demonstrations last weekend included lawyers, religious organizations, student activists, pro-democracy advocates and members of the business community.