Hong Kong protesters march on station to 'educate' Chinese about their cause

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There has been an escalating war of words between China and Britain following mass protests in Hong Kong against a now suspended bill that would allow extradition to mainland China.

In the clearest demonstration yet against Beijing's authority and the legitimacy of the Hong Kong government, a group of protesters stormed and briefly occupied the Hong Kong legislature on Monday, on the anniversary of the territory's handover from the British to China.

Numerous marchers were young, wearing black shirts that have become the uniform of the protesters.

The territory has seen multiple protests during the past month over a controversial extradition bill proposed by the government. However, many are still demanding the complete withdrawal of the proposed law, and vow to continue protesting.

Several waved giant colonial-era flags - which include the British union flag - while others held blue flags emblazoned "HK Independence".

The federation urged protesters to stop harming the tourism business and people's livelihood, and called for rational discussions with the government to resolve the dispute. It is our fault that we hadn't [spoken] out earlier to fight for more freedoms so the task is upon the young now.

The protest will later march to West Kowloon, a recently opened multi-billion-dollar station that links to China's high-speed rail network. Indeed it let me see why Hong Kong is different from China. Police walled off the facility with enormous barricades, while local media reported that ticket sales were suspended for the afternoon.

Some protesters have been charged with unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, assaulting a police officer, failing to carry identification and violating the Air Navigation Order.

Lau said earlier in the day that barricades placed at the West Kowloon station could make it hard for marchers to clear the streets at the end.

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Protesters marched through Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular shopping destination dotted with luxury shops, on Sunday to try to take their message directly to mainland Chinese tourists for the first time.

The march in the tourist hotspot of Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula was mainly aimed at raising awareness of the bill among tourists, especially those traveling from mainland China, according to Ventus Lau of a netizen group that co-organized the march.

A manager of a major tourism agency in Hong Kong, who preferred to stay anonymous, told China Daily his company's operations, so far, have not been too badly affected by the protests, most of which had taken place around Admiralty on Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong has been rocked by a month of huge peaceful protests as well as a series of separate violent confrontations with police, sparked by a law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.

They also wanted the government to launch an independent investigation into the police's use of force on 12 June, when security forces used teargas, rubber bullets and truncheons on largely peaceful crowds.

"No matter what we do, even if some people sacrifice themselves, the government still rejects the response to our demands", said Lau.

The HKSAR is an exemplar of the practice of "one country, two systems", and Hong Kong, after it returned to China from under British rule, has maintained a boom and piled up global clout, said Selcuk Colakoglu, director of the Turkish Center for Asia Pacific Studies. Police fired teargas after midnight to disperse them.

"I don't know the detail of protest, but I will respect Hong Kong people's right to march".

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC he "condemned all violence" but warned the Chinese government not to respond "by repression".

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