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Protesters show up for 11th week of rallies in Hong Kong

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 17, 2019 - Duration: 02:01s

Protesters show up for 11th week of rallies in Hong Kong

Thousands in Hong Kong marched on Saturday in the 11th week of anti-government protests.

Others showed their support for the Chinese government.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Protesters show up for 11th week of rallies in Hong Kong

Braving thunderstorms- thousands of protestors poured into the streets of Hong Kong in the 11th straight week of demonstrations.

Saturday's anti-government rally, led by teachers stayed mostly peaceful.

But in the past few weeks, the protests have turned violent...plunging one of Asia's financial capitals into its worst crisis for decades.

Police have made some 750 arrests since the unrest began in June, and have charged some protesters with rioting which can attract a 10-year jail term as punishment.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG TEACHER, POON, SAYING: "I'm very worried about their physical safety because now the police seems to be beating people indiscriminately, which as a Hong Kong citizen, I think is hard to accept." (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG TEACHER, JOANNE, SAYING: "I can't really stand seeing them standing at the frontline, saving our city for us.

I think that's not safe.

That's not fair, they are just students." Tens of thousands of residents who are pro-China - also showed up in full force for their own rally Saturday.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) A 46-YEAR-OLD PRO-BEIJING SUPPORTER, YI WEI, SAYING: "We cannot tolerate this kind of action any more.

You can express your political opinion but you cannot put it into violence.

You cannot affect other people's normal life.

It's the bottom line.

" (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) A 52-YEAR-OLD PRO-BEIJING SUPPORTER, JINCHANG DAI, SAYING: "The whole of Hong Kong is in a mess now.

They should not attack the government.

It's wrong to be against China as a Chinese, right?" The protests began as opposition to a now-suspended extradition bill but have since grown to include broader demands.

Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement that allowed some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997.

The unrest presents one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

And as a warning sign to protesters, Chinese paramilitary police have been running drills in Schenzen, close to the Hong Kong border.

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