Tens of thousands of Honkongers crowded the streets against heavy tear gas shelling by the police on Saturday, despite warnings from Beijing, once a peace loving city became worse during the evening.
An impressive crowd, mostly young, with civil servants including families and elderly people, swept through the streets of the densely populated suburb of Mong Kok, which has been the scene of clashes between police and the protesters in recent weeks.
The masked Hongkongers removed Chinese National flag from the mast in the Victoria harbor and threw it in to the sea as protest against the Beijing rule.
Hundreds of masked protesters then erected improvised barricades to block several streets in the commercial and tourist area of Tsim Sha Tsui, near the port.
They blocked a tunnel and surrounded police stations, where non-emergency services were suspended.
The police, who warned the protesters to “stop their illegal actions,” asked the public to avoid this part of the territory.
By the end of the afternoon, the markets were closed and their metal curtains pulled to secure from the damages.
Police fired number of tear gas shells against the protesting Hongkongers in front of a police station located in a tourist district of the financial hub, forced them back into streets usually frequented by the onlookers and the tourists.
The Hongkongers, however, remained inflexible and were rigid to hold several rallies and demonstrations throughout the weekend and the next week.
Sunday, the protest movement has planned further two rallies: one on the island of Hong Kong and the other in the area of Tseung Kwan O, and for Monday, a general strike announced supported by multiple organizations and unions, throughout the city, in addition to gatherings in seven localities.
On the other side of Victoria Harbor in the Hong Kong Island, several thousand people dressed in white gathered in Victoria Park to express their support for the Hong Kong police.
The protest movement, kicked off on rejection of a bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects to mainland China, has expanded since June to broader demands, including the resignation of the head of the local executive, Carrie Lam, supported by Beijing, and the protection of freedoms and autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong since its handover to China in 1997.
The megacity of southern China, which is experiencing its worst political crisis since its return in 1997 by London, has already experienced eight consecutive weekends of massive demonstrations, often followed by clashes between small radical groups and the forces of the country.
It is also a challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping on an unprecedented scale since taking office in 2012.