By Associated Press – CBC News –
Standoffs between Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters and their antagonists grew increasingly ugly Saturday, as the two sides traded insults and at times taunted police. The city’s leader said streets occupied by the protest must be cleared by Monday.
“Democracy now! Democracy in Hong Kong!” thousands chanted as speakers from the movement seeking wider political reforms for the former British colony urged them to persist in their campaign. The rally in the downtown business district lasted for hours, with participants at times clapping and cheering as a stream of speakers and singers addressed them and performed popular songs.
“We are not seeking revolution. We just want democracy!” said Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student leader. “We hope there will be no violence,” he said. “It would be unfortunate if this movement ended with bloodshed and violence.”
Although the mostly student-led protesters stuck to their pledges of non-violence, holding up their arms to show peaceful resistance, some shouted abuse at people who gathered to challenge their occupation of a major street in the blue-collar Mong Kok district, which is home to many migrants from the Chinese mainland.
“Go back to the mainland,” some shouted, cursing them in Cantonese.
Minor skirmishes broke out constantly, broken up by police or bystanders. Adding to the disorder, some residents dumped water from their apartments onto the people below.
The students accused police of failing to protect them from attacks on Friday by mobs intent on driving them away, shouting “Black Police!” — a reference to their claim that the police had allied with “black societies,” or criminal gangs, to clear out the protesters. The claim was vehemently denied by the government.