Quantcast
Connect with us

Hong Kong police fire first gunshot in protest clashes

Published

on

Hong Kong police used water cannon for the first time and at least one officer fired his sidearm during pitched battles with protesters Sunday, one of the most violent nights in three months of pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the city.

An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent running confrontations between protesters and police, with officers several times caught outnumbered and isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.

ADVERTISEMENT

In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

“According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague,” Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.

“My initial understanding was that it was a uniformed policeman who fired his gun.”

It was unclear where the shot was aimed, but it was the first live round fired since the protests started three months ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

The financial hub has been gripped by mass rallies that were initially against a proposed extradition bill to China, but have spun into a wider pro-democracy movement targeting the pro-Beijing government.

Earlier Sunday, after thousands of people marched peacefully in pouring rain, a group of hardcore protesters erected makeshift roadblocks and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at riot police.

After firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowds, police drove water cannon vehicles onto the streets for the first time during the protests, unfurling signs warning demonstrators they would deploy the jets if they did not leave.

ADVERTISEMENT

The jets were later fired down from the moving trucks down a road towards a crowd of protesters who ran away.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Police had previously said the vehicles, complete with surveillance cameras and multiple spray nozzles, would only be used in the event of a “large-scale public disturbance”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Throughout the protests, Beijing has used a mix of intimidation, propaganda and economic muscle to constrict the protests in a strategy dubbed “white terror” by the movement.

The MTR — the city’s metro — is the latest Hong Kong enterprise to face public censure, after appearing to bend to Chinese state-media attacks accusing the transport system of being an “exclusive” service to ferry protesters to rallies.

On Sunday the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan, the second day of station closures in a row.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Enemies of Hong Kong’ –

“However bleak our future is, we’re trying to express ourselves rationally,” said Peter, in his 20s, before the clashes began.

“We have faith in ourselves and we have faith in our city that some day our demands will be answered.”

A second rally in the afternoon of a few hundred people — some of them family members of police — criticised the government for leaving officers to handle the brunt of the crisis, while also calling for an independent investigation into the police handling of the protests.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I believe within these two months, police have got enough opprobrium,” said a woman who asked not to be named and said she was a police officer’s wife.

The city’s officers are often the focus of protesters’ anger because of their perceived heavy handling of the rallies.

Ten people were left in hospital after Saturday’s clashes — two in a serious condition — staff said, without detailing if they were police or protesters.

Protesters say Hong Kong’s unique freedoms are in jeopardy as Beijing tightens its political chokehold on the semi-autonomous city.

ADVERTISEMENT

The city had appeared to have pulled back from a sharp nosedive into violence, with the last serious confrontation taking place more than a week ago, shortly after protests paralysed the airport.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Ex-prosecutor demands congressional investigation after latest report on the FBI and Brett Kavanaugh

Published

on

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had another allegation of sexual misconduct revealed on Saturday in a bombshell report in The New York Times.

"A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly," the newspaper reported.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Boris Johnson promises Britain will be like the Incredible Hulk during Brexit negotiations

Published

on

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he was making a "huge amount of progress" towards a Brexit deal with the EU, in an interview in which he compared Britain to the Incredible Hulk.

"It's going to take a lot of work between now and October 17" when EU leaders gather for their final summit before Britain's scheduled exit from the bloc, he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"But I'm going to go to that summit and I'm going to get a deal, I'm very confident. And if we don't get a deal then we'll come out on October 31."

His comments came ahead of talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Luxembourg on Monday.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

NYT blasted for ‘spectacularly offensive sentiment’ after tweet illustrating ‘rape culture’

Published

on

The results of a 10-month investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly was published on Saturday.

But attention was taken away from the powerful reporting after the Twitter account of The Times opinion page posted a shocking message.

"Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun," read the tweet.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image