Hong Kong’s anti-extradition movement observed a day of singing protests on Wednesday on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, amid growing criticism of police violence from healthcare workers, scientists, and former officials.
Crowds of people gathered in major shopping malls to sing the new anthem of the movement “Glory to Hong Kong,” after protesters said on Tuesday there would be no action taken on Wednesday other than singing and chanting, RFA reports.
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Chanting “Reclaim Hong Kong!”, “Revolution in our time!” and “Stand With Hong Kong!” demonstrators, many of whom weren’t wearing masks, also sang the Les Miserables hit “Do You Hear the People Sing?” in English.
Others formed human chains and waved their cell phone flashlights above their heads.
Wednesday’s protests were deliberately muted in response to a social media post from the English-language China Daily newspaper, which is backed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, suggesting that some in the anti-extradition movement were plotting terror attacks to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary.
The China Daily Hong Kong edition said the claims, which were posted along with a photo of the Twin Towers under attack, were based on “leaked information” in online chat rooms.
“We condemn the Chinese Communist Party-sponsored media trying to use the aforementioned rumors to trigger the emotions of the American people,” some protesters wrote in a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday.
“The rumors are … written by the Chinese Communist Party and the HK government, trying to defame HK protestors and to disintegrate the whole movement.”
It said the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong is committed to maintaining good relations with its international allies.
The statement also defended the escalation of protest tactics from peaceful marches to the storming and vandalising of official buildings and the use of batons and Molotov cocktails against riot police by frontline protesters in recent weeks.
“Nonetheless, we have never used any kind of irrational violence against innocent citizens of our city,” it said. “[Having suffered] indiscriminate terrorist attacks [from riot police], we know the evil of it and we would not choose such a method even against our shameless government.”
“We hereby condemn any sort of terrorist attack,” it said. “It is the government, the police and triad members mobilized by them who have been attacking citizens since the beginning of the revolution.
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