Friday, Nov 22

Hong Kong protesters defy anti-mask law

After Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam invoked emergency powers last used more than 50 years ago, mask-wearing protesters took to the streets on Friday.
06.10.2019 - 12:45

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through central Hong Kong on Sunday wearing face masks in defiance of colonial-era emergency powers which threaten them with a year in prison for hiding their faces.

"WE ARE NOT AFRAID IF THE NEW LAW"

Hong Kong police were bracing for two major protests on Sunday, fearing a recurrence of Friday night’s violent protests which saw the Asian financial center virtually shut down on Saturday.

"The anti-mask law just fuels our anger and more will people come on to the street," Lee, a university student wearing a blue mask, said on Sunday. "We are not afraid of the new law, we will continue fighting. We will fight for righteousness. I put on the mask to tell the government that I’m not afraid of tyranny."

Hong Kong’s four months of protests has plunged the Chinese-ruled city into its worst political crisis in decades and poses the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power six years ago.

What started as opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill has morphed into a pro-democracy movement against what is seen as Beijing’s increasing grip on the city, undermining its “one country, two systems” status promised when Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997.

China dismisses the accusation, saying foreign governments, including Britain and the United States, have fanned anti-China sentiment.