Protests in Central again, but crowd gets thinner - RTHK
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Protests in Central again, but crowd gets thinner

2019-11-20 HKT 14:00
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  • Protests in Central again, but crowd gets thinner
Joanne Wong reports
Hundreds of people continued their lunchtime demonstrations in the commercial heart of Hong Kong on Wednesday despite the presence of armed police, extending the protest ritual into the eighth working day in a row.

As the lunch hour first got underway, there was only a small crowd gathered on the streets and no visible presence of any protesters dressed in black.

But within minutes, the crowd swelled and soon more than 100 people were on the pavement of Pedder Street chanting slogans, some holding up their hands, calling on the government to meet to five demands of protesters.

They briefly took over Pedder Street before being ushered back to the pavement by officers who had reached the scene from vehicles which were parked nearby.

The number of people who were out protesting was less than the area had seen last week. But those who did turn out appeared determined.

The crowd stayed on the pavement, but officers raised a blue flag, warning they were taking part in an illegal assembly. Some people shouted back that they had only come out to have their lunch.

Some taunted the police and chanted slogans accusing officers of behaving like "terrorists".

Jim, a banker working in the district, said he felt the police had scared a lot of people into not coming out.

"I think the police have done a good job of scaring people off," he said. "The brutal tactics last week of beating people, defenceless people, arresting people ... it definitely made people nervous."

But the banker said he would continue to protest despite the smaller crowd. "I still support the cause strongly and I think everyone does. I am going to be here as long as I have the energy for it."