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HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters turned Hong Kong streets into rivers of umbrellas Sunday as they marched from a packed park and filled a major road in the Chinese territory, where mass pro-democracy demonstrations have become a regular weekend activity this summer.
Organizers said they hoped the assembly would be peaceful, which would make for a rare calm weekend in a movement that has been marked by violent clashes with police. Law enforcement officers were keeping a low profile, with no riot police seen from the procession’s main routes.
Situations - Today - Bonnie - Leung - World
“We hope that there will not be any chaotic situations today,” said organizer Bonnie Leung. “We hope we can show the world that Hong Kong people can be totally peaceful.”
Leung’s group, the Civil Human Rights Front, has organized three massive marches in Hong Kong since June. The protest movement, however, has been increasingly marked by clashes with police as demonstrators vent their frustrations over what they perceive to be the government’s blatant refusal to respond to their demands.
Peace - No - Priority - Today - Kiki
“Peace is the No. 1 priority today,” said Kiki Ma, a 28-year-old accountant participating in the march. “We want to show that we aren’t like the government.”
While police granted approval for the rally, they didn’t approve an accompanying march. Demonstrators nevertheless fanned out and filled the streets, as there was not enough space at the designated assembly area.
Public - Transit - Trains - Stations - Assembly
Public transit trains did not stop at stations near the assembly because of overcrowding. The police and organizers had not yet released turnout estimates, but there appeared to be at least tens of thousands of participants.
In Beijing, You Wenze, a spokesman for China’s ceremonial legislature, condemned statements from U.S. lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
Lawmakers - Comments - Violation - Spirit - Rule
You called the lawmakers’ comments “a gross violation of the spirit of the rule of law, a blatant double standard and a gross interference...
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