Hong Kong calls for new protest after missed deadline
HONG KONG : Opposition groups called for another major demonstration after the pro-Beijing government yesterday did not respond to their demands.
Millions have marched this month to oppose a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland, but the huge protest movement has morphed into a larger rebuke of Hong Kong's administration.
Under-fire chief Carrie Lam has apologised and suspended the controversial bill, but that has failed to quell the opposition, with protesters demanding she step down and completely withdraw the legislation.
A number of protest groups, including student unions, called for supporters to mobilise today, asking people to gather at the city's main government complex after the administration did not respond to their demands by yesterday's 5pm deadline.
Supporters should "hold picnics" outside the legislature starting 7 am, read a statement circulated in a chat group on the messaging app Telegram.
It also recommended a go-slow protest on roads and public transport, and urged people to gather in other parts of the city as well to show their support.
"Blossom everywhere," it read.
The groups also recommended a mass strike. It was not immediately clear which business and professional groups would support such a call.
In addition to Ms Lam's ouster and the extradition law's withdrawal, protesters have also demanded the release of those detained during sporadic clashes with police last week, and an investigation into allegations of police brutality.
"The hope is to apply pressure before civil servants go to work if we have a certain amount of people," said president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Students Union So Tsun Fung.
The Civil Human Rights Front, a group that helped facilitate the massive June 9 and June 16 rallies, said it would support any lawful and peaceful protest by student groups. - REUTERS