After Tumult, Hong Kong Gauges Support for Protests With Mass Rally

Entering the weekend, the repeated call among protesters was to prepare to rally Sunday.

The protests began in June over a Hong Kong government proposal that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. That legislation has been shelved, though not completely withdrawn, and the demands of the protesters have grown to include expanded direct elections, an independent investigation into police use of force, and amnesty for arrested protesters.

“Today’s assembly continues the will of the two million people who marched on June 16th against brutality,” the Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized the gathering, said in a statement. “We want to gather the most Hong Kongers, and, using peaceful, rational and nonviolent means, unite in spirit and action to express our indignation against police brutality, as well as display Hong Kongers’ firm resolve.”

The Chinese government has criticized the protests in strong terms, calling the airport violence “close to terrorism” and warning that the military could be called in. Paramilitary police officers have gathered for drills in the nearby city of Shenzhen, and a video carried by state media late Saturday showed hundreds of riot police officers with shields and batons charging at men dressed in black.

In cities around the world, including London, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne and New York, protesters took to the streets on Saturday to show support for the planned demonstration in Hong Kong. One activist and organizer in New York estimated that at least 40 cities had planned similar rallies.

In Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, scuffles broke out between Hong Kong protesters and pro-Beijing groups. And in Sydney, supporters of the Chinese government denounced the Hong Kong democracy movement and shouted profanities at a handful of counterprotesters.

In New York, hundreds of people dressed in black, including Alvin Yeung, a Hong Kong lawmaker, and Nathan Law, a prominent Hong Kong activist, gathered in Chinatown for a rally and then snaked over the Manhattan Bridge.

At one point, demonstrators put their hands over their right eyes to show support for a woman in Hong Kong who was hit in the eye with a projectile during clashes with the police. Across the street, a smaller group of pro-China protesters waved flags and chanted nationalist slogans.

Mr. Yeung, a vocal critic of the Hong Kong government, said it was important for people around the world to support the Hong Kong protesters. “Hope is the only thing we have,” he said.