A new wave of mass protests threatens Hong Kong’s democracy

By By Chris Mok , Associated PressBy Chris M. MokPhoto: Hong Kong-based businesspeople and activists wave flags and march in front of the Hong Kong government headquarters, June 4, 2017 in Hong Kong.

Photo: Hong Kok/GettyImages for the International Federation of JournalistsThe International Federation for Journalists and other rights groups say the new wave has sparked the worst wave of protest protests since the 1989 crackdown.

Protesters on Thursday blocked a main thoroughfare in Hongkong, and some streets in the city were deserted as a mass of people gathered on Thursday to protest against the Chinese government’s planned move to restrict freedoms.

They called for a new “People’s Congress” to rule on the matter.

The latest protests in Hong, a city of 1.3 million people, have spread to other cities in China’s biggest city, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in Tiananmen Square on Thursday and Tiananman Square on Friday.

The unrest comes amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea, where China has claimed almost all the resource-rich waters in the East and South China Seas, with overlapping claims.

A protestor holds a poster during a demonstration against Chinese rule in Tianyuan square in Beijing, China, June 2, 2017.

Hong Kong’s government has announced it will allow the territory’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, to run in the June 7 election, though the move could put the city under the watch of the military-backed Chinese Communist Party, which is a party that controls Hong Kong and has a heavy hand in politics in mainland China.

Protesting on Thursday drew more than 20,000 people from a broad cross section of Hong Kong, from business owners to union members, academics, students and others.

The protesters, some carrying banners and banners with slogans such as “I want my voice to be heard,” were largely peaceful.

They held up banners and chanted slogans against the new leader, Le Pen, who won the May election.

They also chanted slogans that called for the release of jailed political dissident Andrew Chan.

On Thursday, pro-democracy groups, many with ties to Occupy Central, said they planned to stage demonstrations in the streets of Hongkongs capital on Friday and Saturday.

The group, People’s Alliance for Democracy, has said it will stage rallies and demonstrations in Hong and the surrounding areas.

Protest organizers did not say when or where they would start.

In Beijing, some protesters held placards reading “Freedom for Hong Kong,” and some carried banners that read “Beijing doesn’t like democracy.”

A Beijing-based Hong Kong University professor said the protests had brought about the worst mass unrest in HongKong since the protests in 1989, when then-council president Leung Kwok-hung ordered the lockdown and forced pro-China demonstrators out of their homes.

“This is a direct challenge to democracy,” said professor Hong Yee-chun, who is not affiliated with Hong Kong universities.

“The people want to see democracy.”

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