Standoff ends as pro-beijing resolve flags

Local | Sophie Hui 19 Sep 2019

National flag wavers engaged in a standoff with anti-fugitive bill supporters in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday after a planned patriotic march was rescheduled by the organizer due to safety concerns.

The march was scheduled to start outside Prince Hotel at 1.30pm and end at the Star Ferry pier on the occasion of the 88th anniversary of the Mukden Incident, which the Japanese military staged in the leadup to its invasion of Manchuria.

The rally was initially granted a letter of no objection by the police, but the organizer announced it was rescheduled due to the situation at the scene.

Despite the cancellation, about 40 people showed up and gathered in Harbour City on Canton Road.

They waved flags and sang songs in the mall, but were subsequently surrounded by anti-fugitive protesters.

A man in white waving a national flag insisted on staying in the mall as protesters chanted slogans such as "liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times."

He was eventually pulled away by several companions and left the mall accompanied by a few policemen.

He then got into a white vehicle as officers formed a protective human chain.

Another group with national flags and a police-supporting banner were leaving when they were also disrupted by anti-fugitive-bill supporters.

Officers separated the two sides and the pro-Beijing group left the mall under the protection of officers in a police vehicle.

According to the organizer, 800 people were expected to show up at yesterday's patriotic march.

Over the weekend, clashes broke out between pro-Beijing groups and anti-extradition bill supporters at Amoy Plaza in Kowloon Bay. Dozens of pro-Beijing supporters waved national flags, sang the national anthem and chanted "support the police," while pro-democracy demonstrators gathered to sing and chant "liberate Hong Kong."

The groups later got into a brawl that resulted in 29 people getting injured.

Uniformed and riot police arrived at the mall and separated the two groups.

At least 10 teenagers were subdued in the scuffle.

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