Date
20 September 2017
Riot police fire tear gas at demonstrators in Admiralty as they try to break up the protest. Photo: HKEJ
Riot police fire tear gas at demonstrators in Admiralty as they try to break up the protest. Photo: HKEJ

Britain, US back protesters but urge non-violence

Britain urged different parties in Hong Kong to continue to hold constructive conversation as a mass civil disobedience movement began to choke off parts of the main business and financial district Monday.

It said Hong Kong people should exercise their rights and freedoms including the right to protest, public broadcaster RTHK reported, citing a statement from Britain’s Foreign Office.

Hong Kong’s former colonial sovereign said the prosperity of Hong Kong people is based on basic rights and freedoms and that universal suffrage is the best way to ensure those rights and freedoms.

Different parties should continue to have constructive conversations toward a consensus, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the United States said it supports peaceful assembly and freedom of speech in Hong Kong.

In New York, hundreds of immigrants and students from Hong Kong took to the streets for the second straight day to express their solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters who are fighting for genuine democracy.

They accused the Hong Kong police of using excessive force against the demonstrators with their use of tear gas and pepper spray.

Similar protests sprung up in Chicago and Boston, the report said.

An American-born Chinese petitioned the White House to support democratic elections in Hong Kong.

“We strongly appeal to the US government to make it clear to the Beijing authorities that any effort to crack down on peaceful demonstrations by force will be strongly opposed and severely punished,” the petition said.

The petition drew more than 157,000 signatures, with a flood of supporters signing on after reports that Hong Kong police had started to use violence to quell the protest.

The Japanese, Australian and Italian consulates warned their citizens to avoid the protest venues.

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Protesters choke off a major artery in Hong Kong’s main business and financial district. Photo: HKEJ


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