Protester Shot as Hong Kongers Defy Ban

Tens of thousands marched on China's National Day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2019 4:48 AM CDT
Updated Oct 1, 2019 6:43 AM CDT
Shots Fired as Hong Kong Protests Escalate
Anti-government protesters run as police fire tear gas in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(Newser) – As Beijing marked 70 years of Communist Party rule with a massive military parade, black-clad protesters in Hong Kong declared National Day to be a "Day of Grief." A crowd estimated by organizers at 100,000 defied a protest ban Tuesday and marched through the city center, RTHK reports. Protesters tore down Chinese flags and banners marking the anniversary. They defaced photos of China's President Xi Jinping and threw handfuls of "Hell money," which is normally burned at funerals. A group of protesters largely dispersed after they were confronted by police near Beijing's liaison office, but there were clashes with police at large protests in several other districts and police fired shots in at least two locations, hitting one protester in the chest, the South China Morning Post reports.

The protester was hospitalized in critical condition, the Hong Kong Free Press reports. Tear gas was fired in at least four districts and much of the city's subway system was closed down. Protesters in some areas barricaded roads, set fires, and threw Molotov cocktails at police. "Today we are out to tell the Communist Party that Hong Kong people have nothing to celebrate," pro-democracy activist Lee Cheuk-yan said as he led the main protest march earlier in the day, per the AP. "We are mourning that in 70 years of Communist Party rule, the democratic rights of people in Hong Kong and China are being denied. We will continue to fight." (Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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