The march began in the Chater Garden public park in Hong Kong’s business district before heading to the consulate as part of the 14th straight weekend of public demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.
In a letter which protesters planned to presented to consulate officials, the group calls for the passing of the proposed “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019” by the US Congress.
One banner carried at the march read “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong” in English. Some marchers sang the US national anthem as they moved towards the consulate.
“We share the same US values of liberty and democracy,” 30-year-old banker David Wong said. “USA is a country of democracy. Donald Trump is elected by his people. We want this.”
The protests began peacefully but rapidly deteriorated into violence and vandalism over the afternoon, after police appeared to arrest a number of people in the busy Central subway station. The station was closed after the arrests.
Leading activists said the move was too little too late and already on Sunday groups of protesters have been heard chanting, “Five demands, not one less.”
Speaking last week, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office spokesman Yang Guang accused US politicians of “shooting their mouths off” on the demonstrations.
‘Most favored nation’ status
US President Donald Trump has shown little inclination to get involved in the Hong Kong protests since they began in June.
In August he said he hoped the demonstrations would eventually work out “for everybody, including China” and that no one gets hurt.
It’s this act which some protesters are calling on the US Congress to pass to put additional pressure on the Hong Kong government and Beijing to accede to their demands.
The interest US politicians have shown in Hong Kong, including Vice President Mike Pence and the Democrat Party leadership, have led to accusations from China that Washington is behind the three-month long demonstrations.
The US State Department responded that Chinese claims of their involvement are “ridiculous.”
Months of protest chaos
Protest organizers say millions of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong since early June, in protests which evolved from objections to the planned extradition bill into wider calls for greater democracy and civil rights.
Currently the protest movement has five demands, including an investigation into allegations of police brutality and the release of arrested demonstrators.
On Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced one of the protesters’ demands would be met by withdrawing the extradition bill from the local parliament.
But so far the government has refused to meet any of the other demands.
Despite the withdrawal by Lam, there have been clashes between police and protesters every night in the past week.
Much of the action has focused on the streets around Prince Edward subway station, in the residential and commercial hub of Mong Kok, where video from Sunday night showed police officers chasing down and forcefully arresting protesters.
Demonstrators at Sunday’s march said that they’re not going to back down until all their demands are met. “It’s just like going to work,” 64-year-old protester Felix Wu said, laughing.