Hong Kong protests flare for 21st weekend

As unrest goes global.
Image: Eduardo Leal, Bloomberg
 

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists demonstrated for the 21st straight weekend as unrest spreads around the globe, from South America to Europe to the Middle East.

Police fired tear gas at protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui as demonstrators blocked roads and disrupted traffic following a night of clashes in the New Territories district of Yuen Long and a peaceful rally that drew thousands in Central. Earlier this week, reports surfaced this week that China’s leaders were mulling a plan to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam by early next year in a bid to calm public anger.

The rallies have become increasingly violent over the course of October, with two protesters shot and a police officer slashed. All efforts so far by Hong Kong’s authorities to quell the protests have largely failed, from banning marches and withdrawing the proposed extradition bill to using an emergency law to outlaw face masks and pledging to make housing more affordable.

The protests have been cited as inspiration for demonstrators around the world who have flooded the streets of major cities this month over economic inequality, regional grievances and alleged corruption.

Spanish authorities are facing down separatist riots in Catalonia. In Chile, opposition to a 4-cent subway-fare hike has snowballed into the worst unrest in decades, with at least 18 people killed so far. And in Lebanon, more than a week of nationwide protests, including hundreds of thousands demonstrating in Beirut, have pressured the country’s leader to shake up his cabinet. There have also been protests in Iraq.

Data due in Hong Kong next week will likely signal a technical recession after a contraction in the second quarter. The benchmark Hang Seng Index tumbled 8.6% last quarter, the biggest loss among major global gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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