- Weeks of increasingly violent demonstrations have plunged the city into turmoil. Water-filled barricades fortify the airport and government offices. Posters showing bloody clashes are stuck on street corners and there is a protest nearly every night.
The unrest began in June in opposition to a now-suspended extradition bill, and have since grown to include broader demands.
Following an escalation in violence over the past few days, rallies on Saturday and Sunday are a test of whether the movement can retain the broad support it has appeared to enjoy.
Saturday’s mostly peaceful protest suggested that it may - though thousands also attended a pro-police counter-rally, and a clearer picture is not likely to emerge until Sunday when a protest is scheduled that could draw tens of thousands.
“The government has been ignoring us for months. We have to keep demonstrating,” said CS Chan, a maths teacher at a rally of teachers, which police said up to 8,300 people had attended, in heavy rain. Organizers said 22,000 were present.