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Hongkongers stage anti-government protests in the rain marking the eleventh week of demonstrations

Hongkongers stage anti-government protests in the rain marking the eleventh week of demonstrations
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By Euronews
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Thousands attended a rally showing popular support for the pro-democracy movement has been maintained despite violent clashes at Hong Kong International Airport earlier this week.

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Braving thunderstorms, thousands of Hong Kongers attended a teachers' march to express their dissatisfaction with the government and police. It marked the eleventh straight week of protests in Hong Kong.

Marchers gathered in Kowloon district holding signs reading "Stand up for Hong Kong". They marched to the official residence of the city's leader, Carrie Lam.

Following an escalation in violence this week, the rallies on Saturday were a key test to see if the movement had lost popular support. The peaceful turnout of 8,300 people suggested this was not the case.

Ip Kin-yuen, vice-president of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association attended the protest and was uneasy with the way police have treated demonstrators:

"They are being beaten and they are being injured, and also they are arrested by the government. We are very concerned about what they are receiving and the possible impact on them in the long run."

The rally was approved by police and was peaceful though it became more confrontational by nightfall.

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

Clashes with police and pro-democracy protesters intensified this week when a rally was held inside the city's airport. Thousands of flights were delayed while passengers were blocked from boarding planes.

The increasingly violent confrontations present one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Chinese officials have likened some actions by protesters to "terrorism". State media outlets have expressed the need for tougher responses from Hong Kong police.

The EU has called on parties to launch a "broad and inclusive dialogue" with the growing number of violent incidents found to be "unacceptable". The US has urged for dialogue as well.

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