Article and Images by Libby Dunne
Hong-Kong and China protests took place in Leeds city centre yesterday, Tuesday 16th 2019.
Activists were protesting against a bill which could see people extradited to mainland China. They were also calling for investigations into the abuse of power by the authorities.
The extradition bill has now been withdrawn, but the protests in Hong Kong have continued.
Supporters of China also turned out in Leeds on the day.
The protests in Leeds lasted four hours, during the peak of the rush hour commute. One passer-by, 27, from Kirkstall said: “Why is this allowed to happen at this time? Protesters are blocking bus stops and the train station entrance making it impossible to get to where people want to go!”
A significant amount of police were present with the Hong Kong and China protesters kept separate on opposite sides of the road by officers acting as a human barrier.
One Hong Kong protester praised the West Yorkshire police efforts on the day:
@WestYorksPolice stood between us and a possibly violent scenario (#chinazi) and protected us until we left safely. They put the @hkpoliceforce to shame. #Leeds #HongKong #HongKongProtests #HongKongProtesters #HKPoliceState #HKprotests #HKPoliceTerrorism #hkPoliceBrutalitiy pic.twitter.com/4uqdOGJJMm
— pfluffynugget 🇭🇰 •᷄ɞ•᷅ 😷 (@pfluffynugget) October 16, 2019
No one was harmed during or after the protest.
Leeds-based Hong Kong activists were critical of the lack of support from the University of Leeds, claiming they had failed to support the protest.
A series of tweet were released stating that student protesters felt like they were being ‘humored’ in meetings and not taken seriously when asking for support and backing for their cause.