Riot police bear down on Hong Kong protesters
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Riot police have lined-up on the streets of Hong Kong as several thousand people marched against traders from mainland China.
The demonstrations were the latest in what is fast-becoming a summer of unrest in the semi-autonomous territory.
Major protests have taken place in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws.
The march on Saturday took place in Sheung Shui, a district that lies across the border from the mainland city of Shenzhen.
Demonstrators walked behind a banner reading “strictly enforce the law, stop cross-border traders”.
The protesters passed by pharmacies and cosmetic shops that are popular with Chinese tourists and traders who bring goods back to sell on the mainland.
Clashes broke out between police and some of the protesters towards the end of the otherwise peaceful march.
Officers used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd, public broadcaster RTHK reported.
Ronald Leung, a leader of the North District Parallel Imports Concern Group, was one of the protest’s organisers.
He said residents have been complaining about the issue of Chinese traders for many years.
Mr Leung continued: “Citizens are really angry.”
He added. “They want to come out and show their concern over the cross-border traders problem in the area, which is never solved.”
Thousands marched last weekend against middle-aged mainland women who sing loudly and dance somewhat provocatively in a public park.
Some of the women receive tips from older men.
The protests in recent weeks have had the common theme that Hong Kong’s government, led by a non-democratically elected chief executive, is not addressing people’s concerns.
Amy Chan, a 25-year-old bank employee who joined Saturday’s march, called it a continuing action building on the momentum of the anti-extradition law protests.
She said: “There isn’t an anti-extradition protest every day to keep us going.
“I hope that through today’s action, people in Hong Kong will not forget that there are actually many other social issues waiting to be solved.”
Carrie Lam, the city’s leader, has pledged to do a better job of listening to all sectors of society.
Many protesters want her to resign.
Her government proposed legislation in February that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to China to face trial.
The proposal sparked concerns that rights and freedoms guaranteed to the former British colony for 50 years after its 1997 return to China are being eroded by a pro-Beijing government in Hong Kong.
Ms Lam faced with continuing protests, declared the bill “dead” on Tuesday, but protesters remain unsatisfied and are demanding it be formally withdrawn.