Hundreds of people gathered in Hong Kong’s central business district on Nov. 21 to support those still trapped in Polytechnic University. And in the evening there, several hundred people joined a sit-in protest at Yoho Mall in the city’s center.
“I’m here to protest, we’re here to voice out our message,” IT worker Ho said. “We are so angry about the government now, and the police force now. They’re killing, they’re murdering, they’re mass-killing the Hong Kong people.”
They chanted slogans like “Stand for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong,” “Five demands, not one less,” and sang what many protesters now call the Hong Kong national anthem “Glory to Hong Kong,” which was created during the months-long protests.
Some explained that they want to preserve their freedoms and why they do not want to live under the rule of the Chinese communist regime.
“There are lots of acts that the Chinese Communist Party is doing in China that is illegal and is anti-human,” banker David said.
Meanwhile, protesters holed up in Polytechnic University surrounded by riot police are pondering their fate.
It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 of them remaining on the site, although it is unclear exactly how many.
Michelle, a 20-year-old student, said she chose to stay behind.
“No matter how the police are threatening us outside and doing a lot of things to create horror (intimidate), such as sending plainclothes [police] on campus, using loudspeakers shouting at us, playing ‘surrender songs’ every day, I hope that everyone can continue to be strong,” Michelle said.
“We just can’t leave and we don’t know how to go back home,” protester Wong said.
The remaining protesters are the holdouts from a much larger group that occupied the campus after battling police over the weekend. Some 1,000 protesters have either surrendered or have been stopped while trying to escape.
Violent clashes between police and protesters have been less common over the past few days, many of whom may still be recovering from the intense protests on Sunday and Monday.
The slow-down may also be because people on the social media platforms are being encouraged to not risk getting arrested before they can vote in the upcoming District Council Elections this Sunday.
More than 5,000 people have been arrested since the protests started in June over the now-abandoned extradition bill that would have allowed those alleged of a crime to be sent to mainland China for trial. The protests have since swelled into a pro-democracy movement as many protesters fear for the loss of freedoms guaranteed by the former British colony when it returned Hong Kong to mainland Chinese control in 1997.
With reporting by Paul Greaney in Hong Kong.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.