But for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition bill, which would allow extraditions to China and which they fear could be used to silence dissent, is the latest step in a relentless march toward mainland control.
But while the pro-government protests have mustered decent crowds, they have paled in comparison with the huge pro-democracy marches that have regularly drawn hundreds of thousands of people. Authorities have removed metal barriers - which activists have used to block roads during previous demonstrations - from areas around the march route. "We are also experiencing the most serious challenge for "One Country, Two Systems", he added, referring to the system under which Hong Kong is governed since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997".
Police late on Friday seized a cache of explosives and weapons in an industrial building in the New Territories district of Tsuen Wan.
Police said Saturday a bomb disposal unit was called to the warehouse belonging to the pro-independence group to carry out a controlled detonation of the highly unstable substance tri-acetone tri-peroxide (TATP).
Banners voicing opposition to an extradition bill that has sparked more than a month of demonstrations were found at the lab, according to police.
Tensions were also raised after police on Saturday said they had discovered a homemade laboratory making high-powered explosives.
Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of city leader Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.
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The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest.
Pro-China supporters gather at a park during a counter-rally in support of the police in Hong Kong Saturday, July 20, 2019.
Hong Kong's police are in the midst of a major crisis over their reputation.
Police estimated a turnout of 103,000 people at the peak of the rally, while local media cited organisers as saying 316,000 attended.
Last weekend, protests that erupted in towns closer to Hong Kong's border with the mainland resulted in more than 40 arrests and almost two dozen injuries, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
Demonstrators and rights groups have accused riot police of using excessive force, including tear gas and rubber bullets, and public anger against the force is boiling over.