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Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong said Thursday they expect an anti-violence rally scheduled for Saturday to attract even more people after police rejected their request for a permit.
Protesters are organizing to gather in Yuen Long, the northern New Territories town where a mob of white-clad thugs surrounded and attacked a group of protesters heading home after a peaceful march on Sunday. The thugs, believed to number over 100, surrounded the Yuen Long Mass Transit Rail (MTR) station and beat anyone wearing black, the protesters’ signature color, with bamboo sticks and metal rods, sending 45 people to the hospital. One victim remains in critical condition. Several of the beaten insist they were not protesters and were merely wearing black.
Pro-democracy - Organizers - Government - Violent - Mob
Pro-democracy organizers accused the Chinese government of hiring the violent mob to attack them from members of local triads, or organized crime gangs, in Hong Kong. Police later announced the arrest of 12 people in relation to the beatings and confirmed that some had ties to local triads, but denied any ties to the gangs. Videos circulating on social media showed some of the thugs calmly speaking with police officers and at least one pro-China lawmaker, Junius Ho, who has since warned protesters they would be killed if they continued their efforts.
This weekend, protesters want to return to Yuen Long to protest the beatings.
Light - Conflicts - Rallies - Marches - Police
“In light of the severe conflicts that broke out following the recent rallies or marches … police have reason to believe the actions of the participants of this rally would be out of your control,” a letter from the police to Max Chung, the organizer who filed for a rally permit, rejecting the request read, according to the South China Morning Post.
The Post added that police argued the organizers “had failed to adjust the route or provide a back-up one...
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