Hong Kong protesters flood West Kowloon train station in rally against controversial extradition Bill
HONG KONG: Protesters on Sunday (Jul 7) amassed outside Hong Kong's West Kowloon station, where high-speed trains depart for the Chinese mainland, as they try to turn up pressure on the city's pro-Beijing leaders.
The protest is the first rally since Monday, when demonstrators smashed their way into the Legislative Council building, leaving anti-government graffiti on walls and hanging up colonial-era flags to protest against the controversial extradition Bill.
Organisers said more than 230,000 people turned up for the rally on Sunday.
They started gathering at Salisbury Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui around 3.30pm, before thousands more joined in during the march to West Kowloon Station.
The protests against the now-suspended extradition Bill have received little coverage in mainland China, where censors have blocked most news of the demonstrations.
The protesters are aiming to take their message directly to tourists from the Chinese mainland.
Lau Wing-hong, one of the protest organisers, said the rally would be peaceful and would finish after demonstrators arrive at their destination near the train station. There are no plans to enter the station, he said.
"It is hoped that Hong Kong people can spread how Hong Kong people can march peacefully and bring the protest information back to the mainland to mainland visitors," Lau told Reuters.
Police and train staff guarded every exit of the station. Travellers wheeling suitcases out said they were not aware of the protests and did not know about the extradition bill. They told Reuters they understood the government had blocked off sections of the station for security.
Hong Kong police said a Letter of No Objection has been issued to the organiser of Sunday's protest.
"Police also noticed that some people on the Internet and social media had called on members of the public to take part in non-cooperation movements which involve various illegal acts such as provoking police officers or storming buildings," said the police in a statement.
"Members of the public should comply with the laws of Hong Kong and maintain social order when expressing their views."
Police said a series of traffic arrangements will be in place, including closing roads in Tsim Sha Tsui.