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Meet the many faces of Hong Kong's protests

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 19, 2019 - Duration: 03:46s

Meet the many faces of Hong Kong's protests

Hong Kong's protests have encountered an increasingly violent crackdown but they still enjoy huge numbers and broad support from the sidelines.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Meet the many faces of Hong Kong's protests

These are the protesters in Hong Kong: young, brave and fighting for what they say is the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement enshrining some autonomy for Hong Kong when China took it back from Britain in 1997.

The increasingly violent protests since June have plunged the Asian financial hub into its most serious crisis in decades and are one of the biggest popular challenges to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

Despite the intense police response and a toughening stance from China, the movement that began two months ago in opposition to a bill allowing extradition to the mainland still seems to enjoy broad support in the city of more than 7 million people.

"I am at an older age, so I can't rush to the front line... what I can do is to back them, to support them," said a local citizen Helen, who was seen handing out bottled water to protesters while chanting "Go Hongkongers!" during a recent protest.

From singing the Christian hymn "Sing Hallelujah to the Lord", which has emerged as the unlikely anthem of the movement, to forming various support groups among themselves, protesters have created a well-developed system for providing supplies, aid and organising crowds.

"Hong Kong now is indeed in chaos, because the city is on the way towards democracy... I believe it would be a good day after the storm," said an unidentified aid worker.

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