Hong Kong: A mass rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, widely deemed the most important so far this month, attracted tens of thousands of people as the crisis entered the 11th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests.
All eyes were on whether the rally, which had been peaceful throughout the afternoon, would devolve into violent clashes between police and protesters as has been the case in the ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, currently in the throes of a deepening political crisis, the Efe news reported.
The rally was officially confined to Victoria Park, the city’s biggest public park, but demonstrators defied authorities and turned it into an unlawful march covering different parts of Hong Kong Island not long after it kicked off.
By early evening, various districts were thronged with people who spilled out from the park in different directions, marching on major roads, tramways and side streets.
At around 6 pm riot police reportedly began to appear in various locations, including near the Liaison Office, an organ of Beijing in Hong Kong.
In recent days this rally has been the focus of attention in Hong Kong, with many expecting a high turn-out amid rumours that people from mainland China had crossed the border to infiltrate the crowds and cause trouble.
There were also fears the police could up its ante by deploying water cannon to crack down on protesters.