Hong Kong authorities on Monday rejected an appeal for a major pro-democracy march on China's National Day holiday after two straight days of violent clashes between protesters and police in the semi-autonomous territory raised fears of more showdowns that could embarrass Beijing. The Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized several major rallies in recent months, said an appeals board upheld a police ban on Tuesday's march in the city center. The group warned that denying a peaceful avenue for protesters could accelerate violence because citizens will turn up anyway, as they've done in the past when rallies were banned, the AP reports. Apart from the march, other rallies are also planned in multiple locations.
"Hong Kong is losing its freedom of speech and assembly. Hong Kong is becoming more and more like a police state, like a tyranny like Beijing," said Bonnie Leung, the Civil Human Rights Front coordinator. On Saturday and Sunday, riot police repeatedly fired water cannons and volleys of tear gas after demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails at officers, targeted the city's government office complex, and set off street fires. Local media reported that more than 100 people were detained and more than two dozen others, including a journalist, were injured. Many protesters are planning to go out on the street again Tuesday, wearing black as posters call for Oct. 1, when China's ruling Communist Party will mark 70 years since taking power, to be marked as "A Day of Grief."
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