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Hong Kong Protesters Demand Removal Of Leader

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Hundreds of thousands of black-clad protesters in Hong Kong demanded yesterday that the city’s leader step down over her handling of a bill that would have allowed extradition to China and which sparked one of the most violent protests in decades.

Some carried white carnation flowers and others held banners saying, “Do not shoot, we are HongKonger” – an appeal to police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters on Wednesday, injuring more than 70 people.

The protesters formed a sea of black along roads, walkways and train stations across Hong Kong’s financial center to vent their frustration and anger at Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.

“It’s much bigger today. Many more people,” said one protester who gave her name as Ms Wong. “I came today because of what happened on Wednesday, with the police violence.”Loud cheers rang out when activists called through loud hailers for Lam’s resignation and the cry “step down” echoed through the streets. Protesters also chanted “pursue the black police”, angry at what they feel was an overreaction by police.

Beijing-backed Lam indefinitely delayed an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, expressing “deep sorrow and regret” although she stopped short of apologizing.

It was a dramatic retreat by Lam, but for many opponents, a suspension of the bill was not enough and Sunday’s marchers called for it to be scrapped and Lam to go.

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