People take part in a rally to denounce violence and support police force at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, south China, Aug. 3, 2019. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents gathered at a park on Saturday afternoon to express their strong opposition to violence and firm support to the police force. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)
HONG KONG, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents gathered at a park on Saturday afternoon to express their strong opposition to violence and firm support to the police force.
At the rally at Victoria Park on the Hong Kong Island, many residents wore white T-shirts with slogans of "safeguard the rule of law" and "protect our home", and held placards that read "I love Hong Kong. Hong Kong is my home."
The majority of Hong Kong residents want to restore peace and normality to society and it is time for everybody to say "no" to violence, said Tang Tak-shing, chairman of Politihk Social Strategic, the organizer of the event.
Organizers said 90,000 people took part in the event.
The rally came after weeks of mass demonstrations and violent incidents have challenged the rule of law and social order of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and taken a toll on its retail and tourism sectors.
"A capable police force is the main reason that Hong Kong has been one of the safest places in the world," said a resident surnamed Wong, who came from Sha Tin in the New Territories to show his support to the police.
He added that the radicals who have severely disrupted the public order of Hong Kong should be strictly punished.
During the rally, organizers also played an audio clip featuring the worrying wife of a police officer.
"As the spouse of a police officer, I couldn't sleep on many nights, and don't know what to do," she said. "But I feel obliged to speak out (against violence)."
The audio clip ended with the sound of a little girl asking, "Dad, when are you coming home?"
At a press conference held on July 29, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council expressed understanding for the Hong Kong police force and their families for the tremendous stress they have been under. The spokesperson also extended respect to Hong Kong police officers.
Heads of three major Hong Kong police associations have expressed their recognition of Hong Kong police's professionalism and the restraints exercised over the past period of time.
They have also voiced their confidence in safeguarding the foundation of the rule of law and social stability in Hong Kong.