Call for a general strike in Hong Kong after a weekend of violence


Hong Kong was experiencing new turmoil on Monday with calls for a general strike and a boycott of university courses, after a weekend marked by some of the worst violence since the start of the protest three months ago. The authorities of the former British colony authorized two new demonstrations, while several opposition movements called for a general strike. From the first hours of the day, protesters wreak havoc in the subways and trains during rush hours.
Dressed in black, a number of them blocked the doors of the trains in several stations, preventing them from starting and causing significant delays on the whole network. In addition, universities were scheduled to return to classes on Monday after the summer break, but the students, who form the backbone of the anti-government protesters, called for boycotting classes for two weeks and a rally in the aftermath. midday.
Three months ago the rejection of a bill that would authorize extradition to China, the protest movement has since considerably expanded its demands. These all refer to the denunciation of a decline in freedoms and the growing interference of China in the affairs of the semi-autonomous region, in violation of the principle "One Country, Two Systems" which had presided over the retrocession in 1997.
Hong Kong had a day of one of the most violent protests since the beginning of the movement. And on Sunday, thousands of pro-democracy protesters tried to block access to the airport by erecting barricades with baggage carts before being chased out by the police.
Many of the protesters then moved to Tung Chung town, which passes the only road to the airport. They used pipes to flood the subway station of this locality and also burned a Chinese flag, a gesture likely to provoke the fury of Beijing. Many passengers trapped in the traffic jams caused by these actions were forced to walk to the airport on foot. About fifteen flights had to be canceled.
Protesters are theoretically no longer allowed to protest at the airport, under a decree that was passed last month after rallies at its terminals escalated and affected hundreds of flights. But they have often freed themselves from prohibitions. Violence plunged Saturday night several quarters in the chaos until late at night. Protesters burned a huge barricade in the Wanchai district (center), about 100 meters from the police headquarters.
Chaotic scenes continued throughout the city as police chased protesters into subway stations. "The police are a licensed underworld, with a license to attack and assault," pro-democracy MP Kwok Ka-ki told AFP. "The government is no different from an autocratic regime."
A video shot by a local media shows in particular police forces charging and beating a crowd lurking in a car. We see a man screaming while kneeling, trying to protect a friend, he is sprinkled with pepper spray. "Horrific" scenes according to Amnesty International, which called for an investigation into the violence. "The safety of the police and the population is seriously threatened by this escalation of violence and the increasing use by deadly gun demonstrators," police said in a statement.
The latter said Saturday evening carried out two warning shots after being attacked by a group of "violent demonstrators who even tried to steal the weapons of the police." Hospital services in the city treated 31 wounded, including five seriously affected. The image of Hong Kong, hitherto known as a stable financial center, has been shaken by the current movement.
The number of tourists has plummeted, and hotels and businesses are facing significant declines in their turnover. The government offered few concessions to try to stop the protests.

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