Asia

Hong Kong protesters back on streets after election lull

HONG KONG: Hong Kong protesters returned to the streets on Sunday (Dec 1) for a series of marches and rallies after a rare period of calm in nearly six months of unrest.

Sunday's demonstrations come after brief skirmishes erupted overnight, with a man assaulted as he tried to clear barricades and police firing tear gas for the first time since Nov 24 district council elections that saw pro-democracy candidates win a landslide.

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Three events are planned for Sunday, including a march to the US consulate to thank American leaders for legislation backing the city's protest movement.

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An evening march will reiterate the movement's five demands, which include direct elections for the city's legislature and leadership, and a probe into alleged police brutality against demonstrators.

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"I just want to remind everyone that despite the small victory in district council election, we must not forget why we started all this and we must return to our main theme – reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times; five demands, not one less," an organiser of the evening rally wrote on the Reddit-like LIHKG forum.

Police have issued permits called "letters of no objection" for all three events, including a morning rally for children and seniors which went ahead without incident, and the post urged people to remain peaceful.

Three events are planned for Sunday, including a march to the US consulate to thank American leaders for legislation backing the city's protest movement AFP/Anthony WALLACE

"I want to beg everyone to remain highly restrained during the hours covered by the letter of no objection. Otherwise I could be charged with inciting riots," the organiser wrote in the anonymously penned post.

OVERNIGHT CLASHES

On Saturday night, police fired three rounds of tear gas for the first time since the elections, after protesters blocked roads in the Mong Kok neighbourhood.

Police have fired more than 12,000 tear gas canisters since the protests began, with gas masks becoming a must-have for those attending demonstrations but often a cause for arrest if discovered.

A video that emerged online also showed a protester brutally assaulting a man as he attempted to clear a barricade.

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