Thousands of pro-Democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong took to the streets with American flags and signs, demanding freedom in their country. Protestors sang the Star Spangled Banner and even had signs asking President Donald Trump to liberate the city, which is under Chinese rule, as they marched towards the United States' consulate.
“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” they shouted before handing over petitions at the U.S. Consulate, Reuters reported. “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”
The goal of the protest was to urge members of the United States Congress to support the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. If passed, Congress would reevaluate trade and business privileges for Hong Kong and China on a yearly basis. If officials in Hong Kong and China were suppressing Hongkongers' freedoms, the United States could punish them on the trade front, the New York Times reported.
"We share the same U.S. values of liberty and democracy," 30-year-old banker David Wong told CNN. "USA is a country of democracy. Donald Trump is elected by his people. We want this."
The protests were initially peaceful but turned violent when protestors blocked a subway entrance and then set it on fire in the Central District, which houses high-end shopping brands, banks and jewelry stores, the New York Post reported. Police had to use tear gas to break up demonstrators.
President Donald Trump has said he believes China needs to "humanely" settle their disagreements with Hong Kong before the United States and China reach a trade deal.
Although Hong Kong and China are considered one country, they have two systems of government. Hongkongers have more freedoms than those on the mainland. Protestors, however, feel that leaders in Beijing are trampling those rights.
Here's a look at the protests:
Hong Kong police are psychotic. pic.twitter.com/6RLYXOfH0o— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 8, 2019
Thugs in #HongKong set fires on roads and at least one exit of the MTR Central station on Sunday, disrupting traffic and causing chaos in the busy central district. Many shops around have closed due to the chaos. #?? pic.twitter.com/0Z3VOUSbPl— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) September 8, 2019
In this video widely circulated online, #HongKong riot #police appeared to have targeted journalists as an officer threw a tear gas cannister at them in Causeway Bay after policemen emerged from an #MTR exit #HongKongProtests #PressFreedom #HKProtests #HK #AntiELAB pic.twitter.com/8UQTBheNi6— Damon Pang (@damon_pang) September 8, 2019
Hong Kong Police target Journalist with pepper spray for taking photographs. pic.twitter.com/Hvrxjs7SoG— Alfons López Tena #FBPE (@alfonslopeztena) September 8, 2019
More photos of central station on fire ?? in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/be9LW431DZ— Erin Hale (@erinhale) September 8, 2019