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SHEUNG SHUI, Hong Kong — A protest movement that began in the heart of Hong Kong edged closer to the mainland Saturday as activists opposed to China's influence over the territory took their fight to the border.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
March - Mainland - Traders - Claim - Inflation
The march was aimed at mainland Chinese traders who locals claim have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted the town's identity.
It started peacefully but devolved into scuffles and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray.
Mass - Demonstrations - Weeks - Opposition - Extradition
Mass demonstrations began weeks ago in opposition to a proposed extradition bill that would allow for suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial, but have since expanded into a broader repudiation of Beijing's growing influence.
Although Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam seemingly backed down on the bill — first postponing it indefinitely and then pronouncing it "dead" earlier this week — protesters have continued to organize.
People - Hong - Kong - Democracy - Organizer
"I hope for the people overseas to know that Hong Kong is seeking democracy," protest organizer Ronald Leung, 42, told NBC News.
Leung said the initial movement has inspired smaller communities to voice an array of concerns.
Lot - Mainland - Chinese - Government - Side
"We can see a lot of mainland Chinese coming in, and our government is taking their side, and it’s making people in Hong Kong not happy," said Leung.
"I feel it is almost like the Chinese government are sending people on purpose to disrupt our community," he added.
Sheung - Shui - Visitors - Proximity - Mainland
Sheung Shui is frequented by Chinese visitors because of its proximity to the mainland.
Residents of the town claim it's resulting in an influx of "grey market" pharmacies that...
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