Protesters defy ban to march in central Hong Kong

Hong Kong protesters sing 'God Save the Queen' in plea to Britain

Hong Kong protesters sing 'God Save the Queen' in plea to Britain

Members of the media (left) retreat as pro-democracy protesters shelter under umbrellas while police fire a water cannon outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 15, 2019.

Reports say some protesters threw bricks at police outside China's People's Liberation Army base, which is near to the Hong Kong parliament and government offices.

Thousands of demonstrators chanted slogans and marched through a downtown Hong Kong shopping district today in defiance of a police ban.

Police had turned down a request by the Civil Human Rights Front to hold the march, but the demonstrators were undeterred, as they have been all summer.

"I feel this is our duty".

"We need to keep coming out to tell the government to respond to our five demands, otherwise it will think we accept the withdrawal [of the extradition bill]", Mandy, a protester, said.

The march disrupted traffic and many shops, including the Sogo department store, closed their doors.

They also set fire to a banner proclaiming the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Reuters news agency reported.

"Radical protesters are now occupying Harcourt Road in Admiralty, vandalising Central Government Offices and repeatedly throwing petrol bombs inside", police said in a statement.

Police in Hong Kong have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters after some of them turned violent. While the march was largely peaceful, by the early evening a small group of protesters had begun to deface a subway station near government offices. They fled again after riot police advanced.

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Earlier this month the bill was finally withdrawn - but protesters continue to call for full democracy and an investigation into allegations of police brutality.

The protests were triggered in June by an extradition bill that many saw as an example of China's increasing intrusion and a chipping away at Hong Kong's freedoms.

Last week, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned the United States not to "interfere" with her government's response to the city's pro-democracy movement after fresh protests called on Washington to ramp up pressure on Beijing.

The unrest has battered Hong Kong's economy, which was already reeling from the U.S. -China trade war. It is also seen as an embarrassment to Beijing, which has accused foreign powers of fomenting the unrest.

Hundreds of demonstrators are rallying outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong, as they seek global support in their months-long campaign for democratic reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

They urged Hong Kong's former colonial ruler to ensure the city's autonomy is upheld under agreements made when it ceded power to China in 1997.

Police also banned a planned Civil Human Rights Front march on August 31, but protesters turned up anyway. Clashes erupted that night, with police storming a subway auto and hitting passengers with batons and pepper spray.

By Saturday, pro-democracy protesters also gathered in the New Territories district of Tin Shui Wai - in Hong Kong's northwest - with a brief standoff with police.

Protesters complaining about perceived Chinese interference in Hong Kong came out in their hundreds across the territory on Friday, singing and chanting during the Mid-Autumn Festival which spilled out onto the top of Victoria Peak - Hong Kong island's highest hill.

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