A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask attends a Human Rights Day march, organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, in Hong Kong, China December 8, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
Here are comments from some protesters at a pro-democracy rally on Sunday that is expected to gauge broad support for anti-government demonstrations that have roiled the Chinese-ruled city for six months.
The protesters gave only their first names to avoid potential repercussions.
LAWRENCE, 23, UNIVERSITY STUDENT
"The protest has lasted for half a year. It's Christmas time soon but we don't have the mood to celebrate anymore, so I bring this placard to express that the wish of Hong Kongers is no longer about material possessions but about universal suffrage, a common wish that we all have been fighting for," he said, holding up a poster that says "My 2020 wish is universal suffrage."
TANG, 15, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
"At first I thought I was not strong enough to come out, but then I started to think that everyone, no matter how small needs to come," he said, wearing a black face covering. "I'm angry about police abuse against the protesters, sexual abuse and shooting tear gas for no reason."
"My parents support me. They just tell me to be careful."
"My family needs to be educated," said Ho, a 40-something mother who joined the protest with her husband and three young children. "They should know their heritage, what it is to be a Hong Konger and what it means to be part of the movement."
"As a 40-something, we have not done enough for the younger protesters who are fighting for the freedom of our kids. So we must do as much as we can...We want to stay in Hong Kong, and we want our kids to have the freedom we did, and to know their rights."
ERNEST, 16, CLAD IN BLACK
"If we don't stand out front today, we won't have any chance to speak anymore. We will become real China and will not have any chance to protest."
"We need Carrie Lam to reply to our five demands...We will keep going until she replies to our five demands."
"We have nothing to do but walk."
"We are glad to hear that so many countries are watching what Hong Kong is doing. It is positive."
"We are geared up like this (in all black and gloves) but we think a peaceful way is the best way to beat the government."
"We are dressed like this not because we have a plan, but just because we are ready if the police do anything. We can't fight themes but we can slow them down, by throwing some bricks or creating a roadblock. We will make sure that there is enough time for people to escape."
SAKURA, 37, FROM JAPAN
"It's not just a Hong Kong problem. It's an international problem. Today Hong Kong, tomorrow Japan. That's why I come all the way from Japan to support the protest today. I want to safeguard Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong as we are closely connected. So I feel the same as a Hong Konger and will stand with Hong Kong."
JUNE, 40-YEAR-OLD MOTHER
"I will fight for freedom until I die because I am a Hong Konger. Today is about standing with Hong Kong, and the international community."
KAY, 20, UNIVERSITY STUDENT
"I think the turnout will surpass the 2 million people (who protested in June) as many of my friends will participate for the first time. The stronger the police suppression, the stronger people will fight back. Police are just a chess used by the government, what's more important is the universal suffrage."
"At our age, we saw the Tiananmen massacre. At that time we were not strong enough to fight for the young people, that's why we come out now. I want Hong Kong to have more democracy, more freedom and to have peace. "I don't want to earn more money ... I want more freedom."
CHAN, 22, FLYING THE TIBETAN FLAG
"I want to show that Hong Kongers also support Tibet, that we are all victims of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)...We can see the history of Tibet is repeating itself here."
LEE, 40s, CLERICAL WORKER
"I live here. I was born here and I have watched the whole society change, the legal system break down. I try to join most major rallies."