Hong Kong’s weary chief executive warned pro-Democracy protesters Saturday that police would “take all actions necessary” to restore order in the autonomous Chinese region.
However, those words may have strengthened the protesters’ resolve, The New York Times reports. Thousands of protesters gathered outside government headquarters on Saturday evening in one of the largest-ever rallies their campaign has seen.
“We know that every time they assault us, we resist harder,” Alex Chow Yong Kang, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, told the crowd, according to The Times. “And we know we’re on the right path, otherwise the government wouldn’t have been so afraid of us.”
The protesters are fighting for the right to choose their political candidates, rather than having to choose from a pool of candidates pre-selected by China, as CNN has reported. They’re also seeking the removal of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who they argue is in the pocket of Beijing.
On Saturday, Leung told the protesters they were thwarting the efforts of 3,000 civil servants to get to work on time, the Telegraph reported.
“The police have the responsibility and resolution to take all actions necessary to resume social order and let the government and all 7 million citizens resume their normal work and life,” he said, according to the Telegraph. Many protesters reportedly saw that statement as a veiled threat.
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