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Hong Kong protests continue after overnight violence and arrests

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By Mark Armstrong  with Reuters
Hong Kong protests continue after overnight violence and arrests
Copyright  REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Thousands of protesters once again took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday after violent clashes with police the night before.

Some protesters threw rocks but a larger rally marched peacefully through the town of Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories brandishing colourful banners and leaflets.

"I think Tseung Kwan O (Hong Kong bay) is quiet a place where many Hong Kong people live," said one woman protester. "They're not usually aggressive in showing their viewpoint, so maybe it's good to hold a protest here and allow people to walk with us."

The demonstrations have been going on for nine weeks.

According to China's official news agency, Beijing is warning that it won't let the situation continue.

The rallies against proposed new legislation allowing for suspects to be tried in mainland China started off relatively peacefully, but have become increasingly violent.

The bill has been postponed but the protesters want it withdrawn altogether and feel it's vital their voice is heard.

"It's the problem with our freedom, it's not just about the extradition law," said one 73-year-old man on Sunday. "Everyone should be granted freedom, so we have to join the protests. Once the extradition law is imposed, Hong Kong people will lose their last remaining freedoms."

Saturday night violence

The previous evening anger once again turned to violence as police clashed with protesters.

Police said in a statement that they had arrested more than 20 people for offences overnight including unlawful assembly and assault.

Officers fired multiple tear gas rounds in confrontations with black-clad activists in the city's Kowloon area.

The situation was also complicated by an earlier demonstration when supporters of the police gathered in Victoria Park.

A general strike aimed at bringing the city to a halt is planned for Monday.