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Hong Kong protesters set a busy schedule ahead of China's National Day



HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong Democratic protesters set a busy schedule for Saturday, restoring Lennon walls with anti-government graffiti and marking the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella movement, which has closed the city for weeks.

Anti-government protesters attend a rally in Edinburgh Place to show solidarity with detained political activists held at the San Uk Ling Detention Center in Hong Kong, China, September 27, 2019. REUTERS / Athit Perawongmetha

Thousands of protesters gathered on Friday, chanting slogans accusing police of brutality amid more than three months of often violent unrest in China-ruled territory.

This was on the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday when pro-and anti-Beijing protests were planned in the former British colony, including at the British Consulate, where protesters this month sought help in overcoming Beijing.

Protesters are angry at what they consider to be creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 under the "one country, two systems" formula designed to guarantee freedoms not enjoyed by the mainland.

China strongly refuses to intervene. He accused foreign governments, including the United States and the United Kingdom, of stirring up unrest.

Saturday is also the fifth anniversary of the start of the Umbrella protests, 79 days of student-led demonstrations in 2014 calling for universal suffrage that failed to take down Beijing concessions.

One of the most prominent leaders of these protests, fierce Joshua Wong, 22, is expected to announce Saturday that he will run for local council elections in November, his supporters said.

He is on bail after being accused of inciting and attending an unauthorized assembly outside police headquarters on June 21st.

Thousands of people are also expected to gather downtown on Saturday night.

The protests on Sunday are expected to mark World Anti-Totalitarian Day by planning solidarity events in cities around the world, including Paris, Berlin, Taipei, New York, Kiev and London.

But the biggest protests are likely to be on October 1, in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, with protesters stating that they plan to use the holiday to promote calls for more democracy.

Activists are planning a mass rally from Victoria Park in the bustling Bay Causeway to Charters Garden, a cricket pitch in colonial days, home to the elite Hong Kong Cricket Club, downtown.

The official festivities for National Day were cut back, with authorities seeking to avoid disturbing Beijing at a time when President Xi Jinping wanted to project an image of national power and unity.

The protests were sparked in June following the withdrawal of a bill that would allow extradition of suspected criminals in mainland China. But since then they have expanded into a broader democratic movement.

The walls of Lennon are large mosaics of Post-it notes calling for democracy that have emerged in subways, under bridges, outside shopping centers, at bus stops, and at universities and elsewhere throughout the country.

Some Lenin walls of graffiti were demolished by pro-Russian activists last weekend.

Written by Nick McPhee; Editing by Kim Cogill

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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