Hong Kong kicks off 2020 with mass anti-government protests
Hong Kongers took to the streets in a peaceful march against their government which soon turned violent.
HONG KONG — Hong Kong has welcomed the new year by continuing the anti-government protests that have rocked the city since June 2019.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on New Year's Day in a peaceful march that soon turned violent, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
According to Reuters, police began firing rounds of tear gas and water cannons at the activists as they started throwing petrol bombs and forming roadblocks across several districts in Hong Kong.
Protesters were also seen spray painting graffiti, smashing ATM machines and setting fire to at least five different HSBC branches throughout the city.
A bronze lion at the bank's headquarters was splattered with red paint and set ablaze.
According to the South China Morning Post, the protesters turned against HSBC as they accuse the bank of having a hand in the recent police crackdown against a fundraising platform to support the activists.
At least 400 people were arrested for illegally gathering and for possession of weapons, the South China Morning Post reports, citing Hong Kong police.
Activists were seen holding signs that stated "Freedom is not free" and "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times."
The protesters have continued to pressure the Hong Kong government to meet their core demands which include universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into police brutality, amnesty for all the protesters arrested and for the Hong Kong government to stop referring to the protests as "riots."
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