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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hong Kong police use pepper spray and batons in arrests of protesters

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Hong Kong police use pepper spray and batons in arrests of protesters
Hong Kong police use pepper spray and batons in arrests of protesters

Hong Kong police arrested around a dozen protesters on Saturday (December 28), using pepper spray and batons on those who took part in a "shopping protest" aimed at disrupting business in a town near the border with mainland China.

Demonstrators have been targeting shopping malls across the financial hub this week since Christmas Eve.

After a short break on Friday (December 27), more than a hundred protesters, many dressed in black and face masks, marched through a mall in rural Sheung Shui on Saturday afternoon and chanted slogans including "go back to China".

Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, is popular among so-called "parallel traders", who buy large volumes of duty-free goods to be carried into the mainland to be sold.

The traders have been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who blame them for overcrowding the town and fueling inflation and rents.

The protests began more than six months ago in response to a now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party.

They have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement, and became more confrontational over the festive season.

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