Protests continue, with social workers also voicing complaints

September 17, 2019 16:41
Social work students and workers from the social welfare sector stage a rally on Monday afternoon at Edinburgh Place in Central. Photo: RTHK news video/screenshot

Following the chaos and clashes over the weekend, Hongkongers continued their protest actions this week, signaling that they are in no mood to relent on their demands any time soon.

Starting at noon, about 30 people gradually staged a sit-in at the Revenue Tower in Wan Chai on Monday, chanting slogans and singing “Glory to Hong Kong”, a song that has become an anthem for protesters in the city.

Holding placards that read “Five demands, not one less”, the participants wanted the government to respond positively to all the demands made by the public in the wake of the extradition bill fiasco as soon as possible.

The generally peaceful protest, which was joined by bystanders and some staff from the Inland Revenue Department in chanting slogans and singing the song, forced the closure of the building’s main gate.

However, the department's operations were not too greatly affected. There were no police officers spotted at the scene.

Before the protesters left, they observed a silence for those who had been injured, arrested or paid an even bigger price since the anti-extradition bill movement began in early June.

Later in the afternoon, social work students from different institutions and workers from the social welfare sector, estimated to be nearly 100 people, held a rally in Edinburgh Place in Central to voice concern over the police's treatment of social workers during anti-extradition protests and show their support for social workers arrested by police during demonstrations.

The Federation of Social Work Students, which organized the rally, said the problem facing frontline social workers with regard to being needlessly arrested has been getting serious in recent days.

The federation criticized the police for intentionally obstructing social workers from performing their duties.

As such, the social welfare sector has been caught up in the white terror, the federation said.

In other news, more than 600 doctors and nurses signed a joint statement on Monday supporting the police in maintaining law and order.

In the statement that was published in two local Chinese-language newspapers, the signatories called on society not to condone the use of violence, RTHK reported.

Countering them, on Monday several hundred medical sector workers and anti-establishment protesters formed a human chain at Prince of Wales Hospital to protest against the government and the police force, with some holding placards and singing “Glory to Hong Kong”.

Some of the hospital’s nurses refused to endorse the joint statement issued on their behalf, arguing that authorities still owe a lot of explanations in relation to the police operation against protesters at Prince Edward MTR Station on Aug. 31.

They urged rail operator MTR to release the full CCTV footage from the station on the night. 

The police need to respond to various questions, including on the issue of whether officers indiscriminately beat civilians, the nurses said, also calling for an accurate number on the injured during the incident.

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