Protesters hit the streets of Hong Kong in small groups on Wednesday to oppose the ever-increasing control of China over the city amidst heavy police presence.
Protests were called for by student and trade unions to oppose new China-backed legislation which includes a bill that would criminalise disrespect towards China’s national anthem and new national security measures.
Police have arrested at least 16 people since morning. The suspects were arrested for possession of weapons, dangerous driving as they had called for disruption of traffic on arterial roads and cross-harbour tunnels. Police said they discovered petrol bombs and hammers during their morning patrols.
Regina Ip, a pro-establishment lawmaker says that Chinese National Security Agencies operating in Hong Kong will have to abide by Hong Kong laws. They will help the police gather intelligence, to help cover up police deficiencies.
Hong Kong has seen back-to-back weekends of protests since June when Beijing tried to impose a new law in Hong Kong that would have allowed extradition to Mainland China. The bill was withdrawn but protests have since continued, demanding full democracy and independence.
They were interrupted by the current pandemic but have once again taken to the streets to oppose law that is believed would curtail freedom of speech in the city. Moreover, this law is being enacted bypassing the city’s legislature. Beijing calls Hong Kong a loophole in China’s defences. It is unlikely the protesters will give up anytime soon despite the pandemic and heavy police presence.