Civil service protest in Hong Kong brings calm to demonstrations as China releases 'crackdown' video

Thousands of Hong Kong's civil service workers have protested in solidarity with the pro-democracy movement that has rocked the region in recent weeks.

Friday's protesting bureaucrats have brought calm and legitimacy to the often violent demonstrations - which China's top diplomat accused Western nations of provoking.

The thousands of protesters, who were crowded into a public park, had been warned by the government that attending the rally would be an "act of punishable disloyalty".

And as the workers protested, an unsettling video showing the Chinese People's Liberation Army rehearsing a crackdown of protesters was released.

The video - which appears to be a warning to protesters - displays Chinese soldiers crushing street demonstrations.

One officer in the video even shouts: "All consequences are at your own risk."

But despite the threats of prosecution, many of the passionate pro-democracy protesters believe the potential rewards outweigh the consequences.

A protesting immigration officer told ITV News: "We are doing the right thing, so there's no need to be afraid, from our hearts."

Another protesting government worker said: "We have no choice to step up and just to increase our action."

Friday's protests kick off a weekend of demonstrations which many are hoping do not mimic last week's violence which as saw more than 40 people arrested.

Johnson Young - one of the detained protesters - was charged with rioting and could face 10 years in jail if he's convicted, but he is undeterred.

"No one expected that rioting charge comes, until the very last few hours of our detention," he said.

Meanwhile, China's top diplomat accused the US and other Western nations of arranging meetings between high-level officials and protest leaders and encouraging their actions.

"The US and some other Western governments .... are constantly fanning the flames of the situation in Hong Kong," state councilor Yang Jiechi was quoted as saying.

In response to questions about whether the army will be sent in to handle demonstrators, Chinese officials pointed to an article in Hong Kong's Garrison Law.

The article states that troops already stationed in the city can be deployed at the request of the Hong Kong government.

Police reported the arrests of eight protesters Thursday night on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons and explosives without a license, and other charges.