Beijing supporters clash with 1,000-strong pro-democracy rally in Trafalgar Square

Escalating tension in Hong Kong was brought to the streets of London today when a demonstration showing solidarity with pro-democracy protesters clashed with supporters who stand behind the heavy-handed show of force from the Beijing-backed government.

A thousand activists marched on Trafalgar Square this afternoon to rally behind those in the former British colony who are rising up in anger over increasing Chinese encroachment on the territory’s autonomy.

But they were met by a fierce counter-protest of pro-Beijing demonstrators who hollered at them and threw up banners branding them ‘traitors’.

Pro-democracy campaigners paraded down Whitehall, past Downing Street, waving posters slamming Hong Kong police brutality.

A thousand activists rallied in Trafalgar Square this afternoon to throw their support behind those in the former British colony who are taking to streets in anger over increasing Chinese encroachment on the territory's autonomy

A thousand activists rallied in Trafalgar Square this afternoon to throw their support behind those in the former British colony who are taking to streets in anger over increasing Chinese encroachment on the territory's autonomy

A thousand activists rallied in Trafalgar Square this afternoon to throw their support behind those in the former British colony who are taking to streets in anger over increasing Chinese encroachment on the territory’s autonomy

Metropolitan Police officers were deployed to quash any flare-ups between the two sides. MailOnline has contacted the force for details on the number of arrests

Metropolitan Police officers were deployed to quash any flare-ups between the two sides. MailOnline has contacted the force for details on the number of arrests

Metropolitan Police officers were deployed to quash any flare-ups between the two sides. MailOnline has contacted the force for details on the number of arrests

Pro-democracy supporters were met by a fierce counter-protest of pro-Beijing demonstrators who hollered at them and threw up banners branding them 'traitors'

Pro-democracy supporters were met by a fierce counter-protest of pro-Beijing demonstrators who hollered at them and threw up banners branding them 'traitors'

Pro-democracy supporters were met by a fierce counter-protest of pro-Beijing demonstrators who hollered at them and threw up banners branding them ‘traitors’

As the demonstrators reached the site of Nelson's Column, they were met with a sea of red as pro-Beijing supporters - including children - flew Chinese flags and jeered

As the demonstrators reached the site of Nelson's Column, they were met with a sea of red as pro-Beijing supporters - including children - flew Chinese flags and jeered

As the demonstrators reached the site of Nelson’s Column, they were met with a sea of red as pro-Beijing supporters – including children – flew Chinese flags and jeered

Demonstrators in support of the Chinese government clashed with Hong Kong supporters in Trafalgar Square this afternoon

Demonstrators in support of the Chinese government clashed with Hong Kong supporters in Trafalgar Square this afternoon

Demonstrators in support of the Chinese government clashed with Hong Kong supporters in Trafalgar Square this afternoon

Many of these lashed out at the use of tear gas by riot squads and read: ‘The only time I like pepper is on my noodle soup’ and ‘tear gas only makes Hong Kong cry harder’.

As the demonstrators reached the site of Nelson’s Column, they were met with a sea of red as pro-Beijing supporters – including children – flew Chinese flags.

Metropolitan Police officers were deployed to quash any flare-ups between the two sides. MailOnline has contacted the force for details on the number of arrests. 

It came as Hong Kong riot police were deployed to chase down a group of pro-democracy protesters they say were assembling illegally after the end of a sanctioned demonstration today.

The protesters gathered outside a police station, shining laser pointers and throwing eggs at officers guarding the entrance.

The thousand-strong protest culminated in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery where they unrolled a large banner

The thousand-strong protest culminated in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery where they unrolled a large banner

The thousand-strong protest culminated in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery where they unrolled a large banner 

Many posters lashed out at the use of tear gas by riot squads and read: 'The only time I like pepper is on my noodle soup' and 'tear gas only makes Hong Kong cry harder'

Many posters lashed out at the use of tear gas by riot squads and read: 'The only time I like pepper is on my noodle soup' and 'tear gas only makes Hong Kong cry harder'

Many posters lashed out at the use of tear gas by riot squads and read: ‘The only time I like pepper is on my noodle soup’ and ‘tear gas only makes Hong Kong cry harder’

Counter-protesters hold up Chinese flags to oppose the protesters gathering in central London for a march organised by StandwithHK

Counter-protesters hold up Chinese flags to oppose the protesters gathering in central London for a march organised by StandwithHK

Counter-protesters hold up Chinese flags to oppose the protesters gathering in central London for a march organised by StandwithHK

Pro-democracy campaigners rallied outside Downing Street today, but were met by a counter-protest of Chinese flag-waving Beijing supporters

Pro-democracy campaigners rallied outside Downing Street today, but were met by a counter-protest of Chinese flag-waving Beijing supporters

Pro-democracy campaigners rallied outside Downing Street today, but were met by a counter-protest of Chinese flag-waving Beijing supporters

Riot police formed a line on a nearby street, thumping their batons on their shields as they started marching during the 11th weekend of protests.

But by that time, most protesters had already melted away into Hong Kong’s densely populated Mong Kok district, leaving officers to face the anger of local residents, who yelled for them to go home and accused them of being members of crime gangs.

The flurry of unrest also presents one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

Western governments, including the United States, have stepped up calls for restraint following ugly and chaotic scenes at the airport.

Those supporting the protests in Hong Kong rallied in Trafalgar Square where they hit out at the worrying police use of force in the former British territory

Those supporting the protests in Hong Kong rallied in Trafalgar Square where they hit out at the worrying police use of force in the former British territory

Those supporting the protests in Hong Kong rallied in Trafalgar Square where they hit out at the worrying police use of force in the former British territory

Pro-Beijing supporters held a counter-protest outside Downing Street where they branded the pro-democracy supporters 'traitors'. Their ranks included many young children

Pro-Beijing supporters held a counter-protest outside Downing Street where they branded the pro-democracy supporters 'traitors'. Their ranks included many young children

Pro-Beijing supporters held a counter-protest outside Downing Street where they branded the pro-democracy supporters ‘traitors’. Their ranks included many young children

The crisis is also resulting in corporate casualties, with the chief executive of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways quitting on Friday after China’s aviation regulator demanded it suspend staff involved in or supporting the protests.

Chinese officials have likened some actions by protesters to ‘terrorism’ and Chinese state media outlets have urged tougher response from Hong Kong police.

Clashes became noticeably fiercer during the past week. Protesters have used slingshots to fire marbles at police, shone lasers at them and at times thrown bricks and firebombs.  

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

During the past week protesters have increasingly directed their frustrations toward police, who have responded with fiercer determination to clear them from the streets

During the past week protesters have increasingly directed their frustrations toward police, who have responded with fiercer determination to clear them from the streets

During the past week protesters have increasingly directed their frustrations toward police, who have responded with fiercer determination to clear them from the streets

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

A protester prepares to throw an egg at a pro-government lawmaker during a march in Hong Kong today

A police officer reacts during the 'Reclaim Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, Restore Tranquility to Our Homeland' demonstration against the extradition bill

A police officer reacts during the 'Reclaim Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, Restore Tranquility to Our Homeland' demonstration against the extradition bill

A police officer reacts during the ‘Reclaim Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, Restore Tranquility to Our Homeland’ demonstration against the extradition bill

Riot police advance to disperse anti-government protesters after a march in Hong Kong amid escalating violence in Hong Kong

Riot police advance to disperse anti-government protesters after a march in Hong Kong amid escalating violence in Hong Kong

Riot police advance to disperse anti-government protesters after a march in Hong Kong amid escalating violence in Hong Kong

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