Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters marched through the streets on Sunday with their umbrellas in defiance of the rain and a ban on holding the march.
More than 1.7 million Hong Kong citizens took to the streets for a peaceful anti-government demonstration despite the government banning one group from holding a march downtown, South China Morning Post reported Sunday.
#LIVE: The rally has taken over all playgrounds in Victoria Park. Police have apparently said the crowd will also need fill up the lawns before the surrounding streets are opened up https://t.co/TV3k1aFUp4 #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/Y7Ac5eZxJ6
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) August 18, 2019
Although the rally itself was approved by city officials, the group Civil Human Rights Front was banned from holding a march to the central district. The group has been one of the largest spearheads of the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The demonstration assembled at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, but the crowd overflowed to the streets due to its enormous size.
#HongKong: Gloucester Road completely packed despite the rain pic.twitter.com/RVkusJqEDi
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) August 18, 2019
Unlike recent events, the rally was peaceful. While there was a police presence, no violence erupted and tear gas was not fired.
The march marked the 11th week of demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The protesters have been demonstrating in Hong Kong’s streets since June in response to a proposed extradition bill that would’ve allowed those charged with crimes to be extradited to China for prosecution.
Although the bill was suspended after initial demonstrations, the protests have continued for more than two months as frustrated citizens show their rejection of Chinese control.
Frustrations have swelled as the police response is suspected of having amped up tensions by firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters on the streets and in the Hong Kong International Airport where protesters shut down flights for two days last week.
China also deployed military vehicles just 18 miles from the Hong Kong border where they are assembling troops for a massive anti-riot exercise.