A peaceful gathering attended by tens of thousands of people at Tamar Park paid tributes to a student who died on Friday – the first fatality that is directly linked to police actions in the ongoing anti-government protests – and ended with calls for a general strike in the city as a protest.
Organisers said they estimated 100,000 people attended the peaceful gathering. Police said there were 7,500 people at its peak.
The crowd heard several speeches and the people present joined prayers as they demanded a proper investigation into the incident. Numbers swelled considerably after a sedate start in the evening.
Most of the people who arrived at the park to mourn Chow Tsz-lok wore face masks and black clothes. Some people also had black ribbons pinned to their clothes.
Impromptu gatherings to pay homage to the student had taken place at several spots across Hong Kong on Friday night and at some spots it ended in violence leading to tear gas, firing of a live bullet and arrests.
The gathering at the Tamar Park is the first public gathering linked to Chow's death that police have given permission.
Tse a marketing executive who was in her late 20s, said she had come to pay tribute to the dead student. She blamed the police and the government for causing the death, accusing the police of delaying an ambulance from reaching the area.
She said Hong Kongers will keep on the fight despite the hardship. "It has been five months already and at the beginning there were no Hongkongers who imagined that. But we are still here and supporting, protesting for what we want," said Tse.
Hours ahead of the vigil, a few riot police officers were seen patrolling the area. The bridge
from Admiralty Centre to the government headquarters remained closed and the security barricades remained around Legco, CE's office and government offices.
One mourner had trekked to the area hours early to pay homage to the dead student.
Chan, who had come from Brisbane to visit her family, said she came there early as she could not join the vigil later.
She said she had been watching news about Hong Kong from June and said she had feared something like Chow's death would happen because the "police is so violent".
Chan said she hopes it doesn't repeat, but said she was not too optimistic.
Last updated: 2019-11-09 HKT 21:17
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