Thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong clashed with police on Saturday in a town near the boundary with mainland China, where protesters rallied against the presence of Chinese traders.
Protesters seized on another grievance following major unrest over an extradition bill when they threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray.
“Our lovely town has become chaos,” resident Ryan Lai, 50, said shortly before the protest turned violent.
“We don’t want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal,” he added, referring to so-called “parallel traders” who buy large volumes of duty-free goods in the town, to be carried into mainland China and sold.
“The extradition bill was the tipping point for us to come out. We want Sheung Shui back.”
The traders have long been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who blame them for fueling inflation, driving up property prices and dodging taxes.
Later, police urged protesters to refrain from violence and leave. By about 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT), most had retreated as police in riot helmets and wielding large shields swept through the town to clear the streets.
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