Hong Kong police make fresh arrests, city braces for further protests

Thousands Of Hong Kong Civil Servants Defy Government To Join Protests

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of a turbulent pro-democracy movement that held a general strike Monday, leading to more than 100 flight cancellations and major traffic disruptions.

Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam addressed the media for the first time in two weeks and warned again that the protests gripping the city are a challenge to China's sovereignty and pushing it to the verge of an "extremely risky situation".

Hong Kong's embattled pro-Beijing leader on Monday accused pro-democracy protesters of trying to "destroy" the city in a dramatic escalation of rhetoric as the financial hub is rocked by two months of rallies and clashes.

Dozens of protesters have been charged with rioting, which carries a jail term of 10 years.

Violent activities such as breaking the windows of a police station in Hong Kong's New Territories and using makeshift means to launch objects at the administration was also reported on Sunday morning.

Hong Kong police have fired tear gas at protesters who are demonstrating for the ninth weekend in a row.

And though a Beijing-appointed committee selected the island's chief executives to start, China promised that Hong Kong would one day be guaranteed its own democratic elections.

Under the "one country, two systems" rule, Hong Kong is guaranteed the right to its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following the end of British rule in 1997. The police released a statement at 2.45pm saying that Tsuen Wan Police Station has temporarily suspended its report room services. Police used tear gas in parts of the Kowloon district on Saturday night to try to disperse crowds and re-open blocked roads.

"There's a psychological barrier for people to strike", protester and pastor Monica Wong, 40, told AFP on Sunday as she attended a large rally.

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At a press conference on Saturday, strike organisers - many hiding their identities behind masks - said 14,000 people from more than 20 sectors had committed to civic action on Monday.

Hong Kong police have called on the public to stick to designated routes and times for a spate of protests planned this weekend.

Violent clashes broke out between protesters and police, culminating in police firing tear gas.

"I really feel upset about the violence that we are seeing in Hong Kong everyday", bank worker Evan told Reuters.

The city's leader warned Monday that pro-democracy protesters here are close to creating a "very unsafe situation" as train travel and worldwide flights in the global financial hub were thrown into chaos. Tourists and shoppers retreated leaving behind hundreds of police officers in riot gear to faceoff with protesters in streets close to Tsim Sha Tsui police station.

However earlier in the day tens of thousands of people filled a park to rally in support of the police, in a vivid illustration of the political polarization coursing through Hong Kong.

A mob of pro-government thugs also attacked demonstrators, putting 45 people in hospital.

Demonstrations may lead to sections of the city being closed off and public transport being significantly affected.

While the city government has suspended the extradition bill, mass demonstrations have continued with broader calls for direct elections and greater government accountability.

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