The Latest | Organizers call for peaceful Hong Kong rally

65

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on the protests in Hong Kong (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

People are streaming into a park in central Hong Kong for what organizers hope will be a peaceful demonstration for democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Organizer Bonnie Leung said Sunday that “today is a day of peace” and that “we hope we can show the world that Hong Kong people can be totally peaceful.”

Violent clashes between hard-line protesters and police have broken out frequently this summer in the hours after peaceful marches and rallies.

The movement’s demands include the resignation of the city’s leader, fully democratic elections and an independent investigation into what they say is police brutality against the protesters.

Leung says the police would be to blame if any chaos erupts.

The Latest: Organizers call for peaceful Hong Kong rally
Protesters, some wearing eye patches to show solidarity to a woman reportedly injured in her eye by a beanbag fired by police, hold up a banner that reads: “Medical workers and citizens march together” in Hong Kong Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. A spokesman for China’s ceremonial legislature condemned statements from U.S. lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, as more protests were planned Sunday following a day of dueling rallies that highlighted the political divide in the Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

___

10 a.m.

A spokesman for China’s ceremonial legislature has condemned statements from U.S. lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

You Wenze called the comments “a gross violation of the spirit of the rule of law, a blatant double standard and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.”

He says Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people and Chinese population as a whole reject the actions of a “very small group of violent protesters” as well as “any interference of foreign forces.”

You did not mention any specific lawmaker or comments, but numerous U.S. senators and Congress members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have affirmed the U.S. commitment to human rights and urged the Hong Kong government to end the standoff.

Congress also has the power to pass legislation affecting Hong Kong’s trading status.