Hong Kong prepares for an 'emergency' protest for autonomy

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Anti-government protesters must march on Saturday in what has been described as a global emergency call for the autonomy of the Asian financial center that guaranteed its freedoms when it returned from British rule to Chinese in 1997.

Outstanding pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong summoned 100,000 people to demonstrate in what would be the 22nd consecutive weekend of protests.

Protesters have taken to the streets for five months of sometimes violent unrest, angry at perceived Chinese meddling with Hong Kong 's freedoms, including its legal system and politics. China denies the charge.

The activists attacked the police with gasoline bombs, set fire to streets and destroyed government buildings and businesses seen as pro-Beijing.

A police officer received a cut in the neck with a knife last month.

Police responded with tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and occasional live bullets. Several people have been injured.

Wong was disqualified on Tuesday from participating in the upcoming district elections, a move that said it was clearly driven by politics.

If more and more people, not only a few thousand, but if more than 100,000 Hong Kong ers take to the streets tomorrow, it can let the world know how Hong Kong people fight for a free election, he told reporters on Friday.

The Wong with glasses was a leader of the street protests in favor of democracy led by 2014 students, but has not been at the forefront of the current riots.

Government data on Thursday confirmed that Hong Kong slid into recession in the third quarter for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2008. Retail sales fell 18.3% in value in September from a year earlier, an eighth consecutive month of decline.

Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous special administrative region of China according to the one country, two systems formula under which it returned to Chinese rule.