Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through Hong Kong to mark Human Rights Day and press for greater democracy in the city in the biggest rally in about six months.
Protesters still clogged the main streets of the city hours after the masses began to leave the gathering point in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and wind their way to the Central district. The rally was the first Civil Human Rights Front-organized event in four months to be given the go-ahead by the government.
Earlier in the day police said they arrested 11 people and uncovered an arms cache in a raid. Officers seized a semi-automatic pistol, bullet-proof jackets, retractable batons and pepper spray in the raid, which they suspect would have been used by an “extreme” group of people trying to attack police or “create chaos” during the rally, they said at a press conference, citing intelligence reports.
More than six months of violent protests that started because of a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China have developed into a movement for greater democracy. The activists are also calling for an independent inquiry into police conduct during the unrest.
Black-clad, masked people threw a volley of petrol bombs at the entrance to the city’s High Court, Apple Daily reported, citing a passerby. The attackers threw about 10 projectiles, the report said.