Protesters in Hong Kong thank Trump over support to their cause
Thousands of protesters were seen flooding into the streets with residents on Sunday morning chanting "revolution of our time" and "liberate Hong Kong", even as police continued to fire tear gas and pepper spray. Hundreds of demonstrators, including many families with children, marched in protest against police use of tear gas.
After a brief lull in violence, pro-democracy demonstrators renewed their pressure on the government by marching in three separate rallies across the city. One of the rallies even showed "gratitude" for US support of the anti-government movement that has roiled the financial hub for nearly six months.
Hundreds of people, including many elderly residents, carried American flags as they marched to the United States consulate to express gratitude for legislation aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong that US President Donald Trump signed into law last week.
Some protesters were seen donning Trump logo hats and T-shirts as they unfurled a banner depicting the US president standing astride a tank with a US flag behind him.
Another banner read: "President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong."
Despite angry objections from Beijing, Trump this week signed into law congressional legislation that supported protesters in the China-ruled city.
"Thank you, President Trump, for your big gift to Hong Kong and God bless America," shouted a speaker holding a microphone as he addressed a crowd at the start of the march.
Carrying yellow balloons and waving banners that read: "No tear gas, save our children," the protesters streamed through the city's central business district towards government headquarters on the main Hong Kong island.
Anti-government protests have rocked the former British colony since June, at times forcing government offices, businesses, schools and even the international airport to shut down. Though there has been a relative calm in the protests in the past week, activists pledged to maintain the momentum of the movement.
Police have fired about 10,000 rounds of tear gas since June, the city's Secretary for Security John Lee said last week.
A top Hong Kong official said that the government is looking into setting up an independent committee to review the handling of the crisis, in which demonstrations have become increasingly violent.
Further protests are planned throughout the week and a big test of support for the anti-government campaign is expected on December 8 with a rally planned by Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized million-strong marches in June.