Thousands of anti-government protesters, many wearing black shirts and some carrying British flags, rallied outside a controversial train station linking the territory to the Chinese mainland yesterday, the latest mass show of anger as activists try to keep pressure on the city's pro-Beijing leaders.
Chanting "Free Hong Kong" and words of encouragement to their fellow citizens, the demonstrators streamed through a shopping district popular with mainland visitors to the high-speed railway station that connects the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to Guangdong and other mainland cities. The rally was the first major large-scale protest since last Monday's unprecedented storming of parliament by largely young, masked protesters, which plunged the international financial hub further into crisis.
The high-speed railway station, which opened last September, was a source of contention, as passengers pass through Chinese immigration and customs inside. Some opposition lawmakers said the fact that Chinese law applies in the immigration area violates the agreement giving Hong Kong its own legal system.
Hong Kong has been rocked by a month of huge marches as well as a series of separate violent confrontations with police, sparked by a law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. The bill has since been postponed in response to the intense backlash but that has done little to quell public anger, which has evolved into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms in the semi-autonomous city.