Hong Kong protesters march in new outpouring of grievances

July 1 Legco Protest extradition  police

July 1 Legco Protest extradition police

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered on Sunday and what began as a peaceful demonstration ended up in scuffles after nightfall.

Clashes broke out as protesters hurled umbrellas and plastic bottles at police who retaliated by firing pepper spray amid chaotic scenes inside a shopping mall that houses some of the world's biggest luxury brands.

Protests that began in opposition to a proposed extradition law have swelled to include complaints about an influx of mainland Chinese into Hong Kong and that local leaders are more responsive to the Beijing government than to the territory's people.

The town has previously been a battleground for Hong Kong people angry over the flood of Chinese day-trippers. Besides demanding the bill's withdrawal, the protesters wanted an independent inquiry into alleged police violence during previous protests. Some carried signs reading "Police Are Liars".

"Most importantly we want dual universal suffrage", Annie Wong, a 55-year-old protester, said.

More than 40 people were arrested for charges including assaulting police and illegal assembly, he added. "I didn't think this protest would do much to help, but coming out on the streets felt like a responsibility to me".

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees its people freedoms for 50 years that are not enjoyed in mainland China, including the liberty to protest and an independent judiciary.

Jim Caldwell takes medical leave from Dolphins
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In a separate demonstration earlier on Sunday, a group representing Hong Kong journalists marched to Ms Lam's office on Hong Kong Island to highlight complaints that police beat and obstructed reporters at earlier demonstrations.

Wong also called for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's resignation, saying she can not expect much from the government unless the Beijing-backed chief executive is gone.

Lam last week declared the bill "dead" even though she had suspended work on it in the legislature weeks earlier, in a bid to quell public anger following weeks of protests that drew millions on the streets and sometimes sparked violence. She has made many promises but she has not been able to fulfil them. "There is no sign she is going to fulfill them".

On Saturday, police used clubs and tear gas to break up a crowd of mostly young protesters who called for tighter control on mainland traders who visit Hong Kong.

"It seems that they have deliberately targeted the journalists", said Chris Yeung, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of journalists joined a silent march to demand better treatment from police at protests.

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