Hong Kong marchers gather as protester's death mourned

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks at a press conference, Saturday, June 15, 2019, in Hong Kong. Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Firefighters remove a yellow banner with the words "Fight for Hong Kong" in Chinese and English which is hung on the Lion Rock mountain by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
The Chinese national flag is lowered as the sun sets in Hong Kong on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A mourner places paper birds near the flowers on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Police officers patrol a park as the sunset near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Mourners offer prayer near the flowers on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Residents watch a broadcast of Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaking at a press conference held in Hong Kong on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Mourners lay flowers on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Mourners lay flowers on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
In this Saturday, June 15, photo, a man wearing a raincoat bearing the words "Cold blooded black police, Carrie Lam kill Hong Kong" stands next to the anti-extradition bill banners hanging on the scaffolding of a shopping mall before he jumped to his death in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (Apple Daily via AP)
A protester waves a British flag outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A man pays respect on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner against the extradition bill on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Protesters place a raincoat bearing the words "Cold blooded black police, Carrie Lam kill Hong Kong" on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong was bracing Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG — Hong Kong residents were gathering Sunday for another massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets.

A steady stream of mourners were stopping by a makeshift memorial, meanwhile, to lay flowers and pray for a man who fell to his death Saturday after hanging a protest banner.

The man slipped from the grasp of rescuers after clinging for a time to scaffolding outside a shopping mall. He missed a big cushion set up to capture him, and was declared dead at a nearby hospital.

The banner read, "Make Love, No Shoot" and "No Extradition to China."

"I'm really sad. I'm grieving," said one visitor, Peron Kwong, after tying a white ribbon to a street rail. "As a person born and raised in Hong Kong, I'm heartbroken when I see Hong Kong become like this."

Pro-democracy activists were calling for a general strike on Monday despite Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's decision to suspend work on the legislation. Some labor unions, teachers associations and other groups were planning boycotts of work and classes.

"We encourage all the public to carry on the campaign," said Bonny Leung and other leaders of the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front.

Many opponents of the extradition legislation are urging Lam to step down and want her to drop the legislation, which many fear would undermine freedoms enjoyed by this former British colony but not elsewhere in China.

The communist government in Beijing issued multiple statements backing Lam's decision, which she announced in a news conference Saturday.

The battle over legislation has evolved into Hong Kong's toughest political test since the Communist Party-ruled mainland took control in 1997 with a promise not to interfere with the city's civil liberties and courts.

Marchers wearing black fanned themselves in sweltering heat as they gathered at the city's Victoria Park ahead of the mid-afternoon protest. A week earlier up to 1 million rallied in protest, and demonstrations on Wednesday turned violent, with dozens injured as police fought back with tear gas, rubber bullets and other forceful measures.

Lam has said the extradition legislation is needed if Hong Kong to uphold justice, meet its international obligations and not become a magnet for fugitives. The proposed bill would expand the scope of criminal suspect transfers to include Taiwan, Macau and mainland China.

China has been excluded from Hong Kong's extradition agreements because of concerns over its judicial independence and human rights record.

Speaking to reporters after announcing her decision Saturday, Lam sidestepped questions over whether she should quit. She insisted she was not withdrawing the proposed amendment and defended the police.

But she said she was suspending the bill indefinitely. It was time, she said, "for responsible government to restore as quickly as possible this calmness in society."

"I want to stress that the government is adopting an open mind," she said. "We have no intention to set a deadline for this work."

Many here believe Hong Kong's legal autonomy has been significantly diminished despite Beijing's insistence that it is still honoring its promises, dubbed "one country, two systems."

Prosecutions of activists, detentions without trial of five Hong Kong book publishers and the illegal seizure in Hong Kong by mainland agents of at least one mainland businessman are among moves in recent years that have unnerved many in the city of 7 million.

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