Police fire tear gas to disperse thousands in central Hong Kong


Around 4:30 p.m. local time, Hong Kong police asked the organizer to call off the rally early, due to "violence" by protesters.

The police say they detained the organizer of the rally for failing to help maintain order.

Activist Joshua Wong said the number of participants in Sunday's march is crucial to continue informing the global community of Hong Kong's ongoing struggle. "Disband the police force, free Hong Kong!".

Four officers were injured, including two from the Police Community Liaison Office, who suffered head wounds after being attacked with wooden sticks and other weapons near the rally, according to police.

But roughly 10,000 protesters gathered and some began clashing with police on Sunday afternoon when officers in nearby streets in the Central District began to perform stop and searches.

"It was very peaceful inside the venue but then suddenly the police grabbed the mic and announced that the rally had to end".

Friction between Hong Kong residents and Beijing has been going on for over six months after proposed extradition legislation sparked the violent unrest. Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team said in a statement that Ventus Lau was arrested by the police on Sunday evening and was charged with "obstruction of police administration" and violating terms set when permission was granted for the protest.

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Multiple people were arrested. Once he saw the officer's badge, Lau said, he attempted to clear the park, but the altercation had drawn a crowd of angry protesters and fighting broke out.

The protests, which have since broadened to include demands for universal suffrage and an independent investigation into police handling of the demonstrations, have lost some of their intensity in recent weeks.

"The HKSAR government reiterates that foreign countries should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR", it added.

Once protesters spilled onto the streets, some of them, wearing all-black clothing, barricaded the roads with umbrellas and street furniture, dug up bricks from the pavement and smashed traffic lights.

Video posted online showed an organiser with a microphone asking the officers to show their warrant cards which they did not do, a frequent gripe among protesters.

In response to the rally, Hong Kong's government released a statement outlining the "universal suffrage of "one person, one vote" as an ultimate aim" enshrined in the territory's Basic Law. They also said some protesters threw water bottles at some other officers who were conducting a "stop and search" operation.

Beijing as well as Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam have refused further concessions and defended police tactics.

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