Anti-government demonstrations at Christmas: more than 300 arrests
Protesters invaded shopping malls and vandalized stores linked to China. The police used pepper spray and tear gas and made arrests. Carri Lam: They ruined the Christmas celebrations. A demonstration has been called for January 1st.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Hong Kong police made more than 300 arrests in three days, from Christmas Eve until yesterday (St. Stephen's DAy also known as Boxing Day), with verbal and physical clashes with anti-extradition and pro-democracy demonstrators. Hundreds of young people from the movement chose to demonstrate in various shopping centers, claiming they were Christmas shopping in groups, branded by the police as an "illegal gathering".
Sometimes the protest expressed itself with songs and slogans, such as Mong Kok's Moko; at other times, demonstrators vandalized restaurants and stores related to China, such as Urban Bakery and Pacific Coffee. In many cases there have been disputes between the police and demonstrators or casual visitors. In Mong Kong, Causeway Bay, Tai Po, Tuen Mun, the police used pepper spray, tear gas and made dozens of arrests.
Carrie Lam, the chief executive said on Facebook that the protests ruined the Christmas celebrations. A teenage demonstrator, named Wendy, interviewed by the "South China Morning Post", replied: "If you think we are ruining the Christmas holidays, shouldn't you think about who caused this situation first?".
The government also issued three statements in a matter of hours to respond to a Washington Post article that citing experts accused Hong Kong law enforcement agencies of excessive use of force, going against the same police rules.
An independent investigation into police violence is one of the "Five Demands" expressed by the democratic movement and supported by many sectors of civil society, including Christian leaders.
The Civic Front for Human Rights, which brings together many democratic groups and associations, launched the proposal for a major demonstrations for January 1st.
Photo: Guardians of Hong Kong