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Protesters and police continue to clash with no end in sight in Hong Kong. Protests turned violent over the weekend as the city braces for worse heading into China's National Day this week. Riot police fired multiple volleys of tear gas while demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails.

Hong Kong Protesters

Image: Hong Kong Protesters via CNN

If anything the clashes tempo has worsened since pro-democracy protests began in early June. China had been hoping that the protests would stop the extradition bill was halted but that has morphed into a broader anti-China movement.  Beijing's influence over the semi-autonomous region is wide and varied and that is the source of the anger.

Protesters are planning to march again on Tuesday despite a police ban, raising fears of more violent confrontations that could embarrass Chinese President Xi Jinping as his ruling Communist Party marks 70 years since taking power.

Protesters are calling for Oct. 1 to be marked as "A Day of Grief."

Hong Kong's government has already scaled down the city's National Day celebrations, canceling an annual fireworks display and moving the main reception indoors. Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's leader, will lead a delegation of over 240 people to Beijing on Monday to participate in National Day festivities.

On Sunday thousands of people regrouped and marched along a main thoroughfare toward government offices, crippling traffic. "So many youngsters feel that they're going to have no future because of the power of China," Andy Yeung, 40, said as he pushed his toddler in a stroller. "It's hopeless for Hong Kong. If we don't stand up, there will be no hope." Protesters, many clad in black with umbrellas and carrying pro-democracy posters and foreign flags, sang songs and chanted "Stand with Hong Kong, fight for freedom."

NBC reported some defaced, tore down and burned National Day congratulatory signages, setting off a huge blaze on the street. Others sprayed graffiti along walls, and smashed windows and lobbed gasoline bombs at subway exits. Police then fired a water cannon and tear gas as the crowd approached the government office complex. Most fled but hundreds returned, hurling objects into the complex. Members of an elite police squad, commonly known as raptors, then charged out suddenly from behind barricades, taking many protesters by surprise. A number who failed to flee in time were subdued and detained in a scene of chaos.

The raptors, backed by scores of riot police, pursued protesters down the roads to nearby areas. Officers continued to fire multiple rounds of tear gas as the cat-and-mouse clashes continued into nightfall.

The demonstration was part of global "anti-totalitarianism" rallies planned in over 60 cities worldwide to denounce "Chinese tyranny." Thousands rallied in Taipei, Taiwan's capital, while more than 1,000 took part in a rally in Sydney. Chief Executive Lam held her first community dialogue with the public on Thursday in a bid to defuse tensions but clearly failed to persuade protesters, who vowed to press on until their demands are met, including direct elections for the city's leaders and police accountability.

Source: NBC

From The TradesCommunity News Desk

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