Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Hong Kong's Victoria Park, despite heavy rain, for the 11th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests. It's the first major demonstration following ugly scenes at the city's airport earlier this week.
The rally was organized by the Civil and Human Rights Front (CHRF), a more traditional pro-democrat organization which previously put on two huge peaceful marches in June. The aim is to stage a peaceful demonstration the following violence at the airport this week.
One of the slogans of the rally is "Hong Kongers Assemble: Peaceful, Rational, and Non-Violent Protesters Stand Out."
Police have only given permission for people to gather in Victoria Park but not for the proposed march to Chater Gardens in Central district. Despite the theme of today's protest focusing on being a peaceful rally, if protesters do push on with their intended march it could raise the possibility of clashes with police.
All departing flights at the airport - one of the busiest in Asia - were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday after protesters flooded the main terminal. Protesters also detained and beat two men they accused of being undercover police officers, and violently clashed with riot police. A group of protesters later apologized for the incident.
Attention will be on whether the Hong Kong police can avoid the type of forceful reaction which has previously spurred greater protests. Last weekend saw tear gas fired inside a subway station and a woman allegedly hit in the face with a beanbag round, outraging protesters and driving turnout at the airport just as things appeared to be calming down somewhat.
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