Thousands Rally in Hong Kong After Police Freeze Crowd-Funded Millions

Hundreds of Hongkongers rallied in a mass downtown protest on the freezing of funds by the authorities that had been raised to supply authorized help to arrested protesters.

Chanting “Free Hong Kong! Revolution in our time!” the protesters held up cellphone flashlights within the rally within the downtown Central enterprise district on Monday night in help of Spark Alliance, a gaggle that had crowd-funded hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong {dollars} to help 1000’s of folks arrested since protests escalated in early June.

The identical slogans had been projected on main buildings together with Metropolis Corridor and the Common Put up Workplace, whereas protesters additionally signed a petition calling on the U.S. authorities to freeze property linked to the Chinese language authorities in response.

Hong Kong police mentioned final Thursday that that they had frozen H.Ok.$70 million (U.S. $10 million) raised by Spark Alliance, a non-profit on-line platform shaped in 2016 that collects donations to assist professional democracy protesters, and arrested its 4 members for cash laundering.

The alliance is one in all two crowd-sourced funding initiatives which have collected hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in funding to assist and help folks arrested and being prosecuted for his or her half within the protest motion that has gripped Hong Kong since early June.

Whereas police mentioned that a number of the cash had been transferred to a shell firm, and later used to purchase insurance coverage, protesters have insisted on seeing proof of those claims, saying they’re an official try to smear the protest motion.

A petition calling on the administration of President Donald Trump to freeze an equal quantity of Chinese language-owned property within the U.S. had garnered greater than 12,000 signatures by Monday night.

“Such accusations are believed to be false since they’re pure donations by Hong Kongers,” the petition learn. “The try is simply to suppress Hong Kongers’ human rights.”

Solidarity with Uyghurs

In the meantime, police defended the pulling of a firearm on Sunday by an officer at a rally in help of China’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic group, a minimum of 1.5 million of whom have been subjected to mass incarceration in “re-education” camps together with different minorities and Han Chinese language deemed in want of political “re-education.”

Roughly  1,000 folks waving Uyghur flags and posters whereas stressing solidarity towards their frequent foe the Chinese language Communist Social gathering at a gathering close to Hong Kong’s Harbourfront, earlier than police later swooped in utilizing pepper spray to disperse protesters, who responded by throwing glass bottles and rocks.

Chief superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen mentioned the officer drew his gun to defend himself and his colleagues. “Some rioters pushed our officers onto the bottom, snatched at his belt … it was a really harmful and chaotic scenario,” he mentioned. “At this juncture our officer pulled out his service revolver to guard his security and save his colleagues,” Kwok informed a information convention on Monday.

“As soon as the scenario got here underneath management, he put his revolver again,” mentioned Kwok.

Riot police charged into Central’s Edinburgh Place after a Chinese language nationwide flag was ripped down from a flag pole by Metropolis Corridor, authorities broadcaster RTHK reported.

“As they tried to arrest some folks, a melee ensued with folks pelting them with issues like water bottles,” the station mentioned. “An officer pulled out and pointed his revolver on the crowd at one level, however didn’t fireplace.”

Police additionally introduced they’d be blocking key roads in Central and Causeway Bay districts forward of deliberate protests on Christmas Eve.

Protesters proceed to name on the administration of chief govt Carrie Lam to satisfy all 5 calls for of the protest motion, which embody full democracy and an unbiased inquiry into police violence towards protesters.

4 excellent calls for

Whereas Lam has formally withdrawn broadly hated plans to vary Hong Kong’s extradition legal guidelines, she and her officers have repeatedly dominated out assembly the opposite 4 calls for.

Protesters have continued to take to the streets of their a whole bunch of 1000’s, after a landslide victory of pro-democracy events in final month’s District Council elections.

However a Chinese language international ministry consultant in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, mentioned the protests are the results of actions by a “minority” of indignant and disaffected youth in Hong Kong.

“The political disaster up to now six months has pushed Hong Kong into its most harmful scenario for the reason that handover,” Xie mentioned in feedback reported by the South China Morning Put up.

“Some younger folks have misplaced themselves by participating in avenue violence and unlawful actions, vandalizing, setting fires and assaulting police or residents, in addition to desecrating the nationwide flag and waving international ones or begging for outdoor intervention,” Xie mentioned.

He referred to as on Hong Kong’s younger folks to make the most of the alternatives provided by the town’s return to Chinese language rule in 1997.

Reported by RFA’s Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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