HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong holds an annual pro-democracy march on Monday, the anniversary of its handover to Beijing, that could draw big crowds amid widespread anger over an extradition bill that has plunged the financial hub into turmoil.
The bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, has hit a nerve across society, drawing criticism from business people, legal circles, schools and church groups.
Millions - Streets - Weeks - Extradition - Law
Millions have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against the now-suspended extradition law to demand it be scrapped, and that embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam step down.
The uproar over the bill has reignited a protest movement that had lost steam after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 failed to force concessions from Beijing, and led to the arrests of hundreds of activists.
Years - July - Anniversary - Handover - Colony
In recent years, the July 1 anniversary of the handover of the former British colony in 1997, under a deal to ensure its autonomy, has been marked by deepening despondency about what many residents see as increasing meddling by the mainland and the erosion of freedoms.
Beijing denies interfering but for many Hong Kong residents the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march toward mainland control.
Organizers - Protests - Anger - City - Government
Organizers of the recent protests say they are confident that anger over the city government’s failure to withdraw the extradition bill will boost numbers on Monday, which is a public holiday in Hong Kong.
Financial markets and most businesses will be closed.
Rally - GMT - Victoria - Park - Hong
The rally is due to start at 0630 GMT in Victoria Park on Hong Kong island and end at government offices near the heart of the financial center.
The recent demonstrations have brought havoc, forcing the closure of government offices on...
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