Protests in Hong Kong entered a fourth day today, despite a heavy response by riot police that resulted in over 40 injuries last night. Authorities fired tear gas and charged crowds with batons, but the response only further fueled residents to take part in protests today with thousands remaining at the main protest site. The demonstrations began on Friday near the government headquarters in the Admiralty district, with protesters, mainly students, demanding full democracy for the semi-autonomous territory and the resignation of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (CY Leung). Students organized the demonstrations to protest an August ruling in Beijing, which allows only pro-Beijing candidates to participate in the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive. Protesters say officials in China have gone back on their word to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong, promised to the city when China resumed its rule over the former British colony in 1997. The student-led boycotts have the support of Occupy Central with Love and Peace, which initially called for the shutdown of Hong Kong’s financial district after the August ruling that was set to begin at the start of October. However, the protests at the government headquarters prompted the start of the “occupation” there instead, announced by Occupy Central’s leader Benny Tai on Saturday.
The activity spread to other areas as well, with demonstrators blocking major streets in the Causeway Bay district and in the Mongkok neighborhood in Kowloon. The Chinese government urged demonstrators to end the sit-ins, stating it would not tolerate dissent. CY Leung also opposed the “unlawful occupation actions by Occupy Central” and urged protesters to go home. Officials in Beijing advised foreign governments to stay out of China’s internal affairs, after countries such as the U.S., UK and Taiwan issued statements and travel alerts regarding the situation. The government issued a statement saying is it “resolutely opposed to any country attempting in any way to support such illegal activities like Occupy Central.”Read More