Hong Kong, Sep 29 (IANS) An unauthorized mass protest in Hong Kong on Sunday quickly descended into chaos, with riot police arresting several people and firing rounds of teargas and pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators.
The clash, which marked the 17th straight weekend of anti-government protests, came about 14 hours after the police deployed water cannons and teargas to disperse demonstrators after a lawful rally near the government headquarters on Saturday evening, reports Efe news.
Sunday’s march, which was dubbed “Global Rally Against Tyranny”, was organised by the Stand With Hong Kong group, which called on Hong Kong citizens to take to the streets to protest against totalitarian rule and fight for “freedom, justice and democracy”.
According to the group, people in more than 62 cities around the world, including Tokyo, Taipei, Kiev, New York, Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen, will take part in similar rallies on the same day.
At around 1.30 p.m., thousands of people thronged an area outside a big department store in the commercial area of Causeway Bay where the march, for which Stand With Hong Kong had not sought approval from the police, was supposed to start at 3.00 p.m.
In an unusually early move against protesters, police officers searched numerous people in the area who were clad in black – the dress code of protesters in the ongoing anti-government movement.
Three people, including a member of the party People Power, were reportedly arrested.
The move caused anger among some onlookers.
About 45 minutes later, a clash between some demonstrators and police officers resulted in the latter using pepper spray and later teargas to disperse the crowds.