Quantcast
Connect with us

Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters in tourist district

Published

on

Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas on Saturday evening at pro-democracy protesters in a popular tourist district, as violence rocked the international finance hub once more despite increasingly stern warnings from China.

The semi-autonomous southern Chinese financial hub has seen two months of protests and clashes triggered by opposition to a planned extradition law that quickly evolved into a wider movement for democratic reforms.

ADVERTISEMENT

Authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing this week signalled a hardening stance, including with the arrests of dozens of protesters, and the Chinese military saying it was ready to quell the “intolerable” unrest if requested.

But protesters have remained unyielding, vowing to hold multiple occupations and rallies in the coming days.

Saturday’s violence — the ninth consecutive weekend of clashes — took place in Tsim Sha Tsui, a usually bustling harbourside district known for its luxury malls and hotels.

Officers with gas masks and shields charged at hundreds of protesters who had been besieging a nearby police station.

AFP / Isaac Lawrence Many roads in the tourist district Tsim Sha Tsui were blocked by protesters

Masked demonstrators had smashed the windows of cars in the police parking lot and daubed nearby walls with graffiti. One team of protesters created a large slingshot — held up by two members — to launch bricks at the building.

ADVERTISEMENT

Police fired volleys of tear gas followed by baton charges and made multiple arrests.

Earlier in the day tens of thousands of protesters had marched through nearby streets, embracing their mantra “be water” — a philosophy of unpredictability espoused by local martial arts legend Bruce Lee.

The seized roads, built barricades and even briefly blocked a cross-harbour tunnel.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We will fight as guerrillas today and be water,” a masked and helmeted 19-year-old, who gave her surname Lee, told AFP.

– City-wide strike –

Hong Kong has witnessed two months of huge rallies — often followed by violent clashes between police and small groups of hardcore protesters.

ADVERTISEMENT

AFP / Isaac LAWRENCE Thousands hit the streets of Hong Kong again this weekend

And there is no sign of the chaos abating.

Many of the chants and graffiti tags thrown up Saturday called for residents to join a planned city-wide strike on Monday.

“The more the government suppresses us, the more we will come out until the government responds to our demands,” protester Ah Kit, 36, told AFP.

ADVERTISEMENT

Two marches are also planned for Sunday while the call for strike action appears to be gaining more traction than previous walkouts.

AFP / Philip FONG Protesters are demanding democratic reforms and an end to sliding freedoms

Under the terms of the 1997 handover deal with Britain, the city has rights and liberties unseen on the Chinese mainland, including an independent judiciary and freedom of speech.

But many say those rights are being curtailed, citing the disappearance into mainland custody of dissident booksellers, the disqualification of prominent politicians and the jailing of pro-democracy protest leaders.

Public anger has been compounded by rising inequality and the perception that the city’s distinct language and culture are being threatened by ever-closer integration with the Chinese mainland.

ADVERTISEMENT

Anger towards the police is at record levels with officers increasingly seen as Beijing’s enforcers — although police deny using excessive force and say they are facing increasingly hardcore protesters.

– Violence escalating –

The past two weekends have seen a surge in violence by both protesters and police, who have repeatedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse projectile-throwing crowds.

AFP / Philip FONG Saturday’s rally took place in the shopping district of Mongkok

A mob of pro-government thugs also attacked demonstrators, putting 45 people in hospital.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has made few concessions beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill and shied away from public appearances.

ADVERTISEMENT

Protesters are demanding her resignation, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested, a permanent withdrawal of the bill, and the right to elect their leaders.

Thousands of pro-government supporters also held a rally in a separate park on Saturday, many waving Chinese flags and chanting slogans in support of the police — who have refuted allegations of using excessive force.

Beijing has increasingly pitched the anti-government protests as funded by the West.

China has provided little evidence beyond supportive statements from some Western politicians and critics say Beijing’s accusations of foreign meddling ignore Hong Kongers’ legitimate grievances.


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

2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

Published

on

According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

Published

on

The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

Published

on

According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image