Hundreds of Hong Kongers staged a sit-in on Wednesday outside the school of a protester who was shot by police as authorities said the wounded 18-year-old was now in a stable condition.
The international finance hub has been left reeling from the shooting, the first time a demonstrator has been struck with a live round in nearly four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests.
Hong Kong was battered by the most sustained political clashes of the year on Tuesday as China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule with a massive military parade in Beijing.
The spiralling violence underscored seething public anger against Beijing’s rule and shifted the spotlight from China’s carefully choreographed birthday party, which was designed to showcase its status as a global superpower.
Running battles raged for hours across multiple locations as hardcore protesters hurled rocks and petrol bombs. Police responded for the most part with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.
In Tsuen Wan district, a police officer fired his weapon at close range into the chest of Tsang Chi-kin, 18, as his unit was attacked by protesters armed with poles and umbrellas.
Police said the officer feared for his life on a day that saw his colleagues fire five warning shots from their pistols throughout the city.
“In this very short span of time, he made a decision and shot the assailant,” police chief Stephen Lo said.
But protest groups said the officer charged into the melee with his firearm drawn and condemned the increasing use of live rounds.
“HK (has) fallen into a de facto police state,” democracy activist Joshua Wong tweeted. “The paramilitary security forces completely took over this city.”
– From critical to stable –
The shooting was captured on video that quickly went viral.
Outside Tsang’s school on Monday students chanted slogans and held pictures of the incident, taken form videos posted on Facebook.
“No rioters, only tyranny,” they chanted, alongside other popular protest slogans.
Tsang, who was filmed trying to strike the officer with a pole as he was shot, was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition but authorities said his condition has since improved.
“According to the latest information of the Hospital Authority, the current condition of the man is stable,” the government said in a statement.
A friend and classmate of Tsang, who gave his first name Marco, said the 18-year-old was a keen basketballer who was infuriated by sliding freedoms in Hong Kong and the police response to the protests.
“If he sees any problems or anything unjust, he would face it bravely, speak up against it, instead of bearing it silently,” Marco told AFP.
Police said 25 officers were injured in the National Day clashes, including some who suffered chemical burns from a corrosive liquid that was thrown at them by protesters. The liquid also wounded some journalists.
Hospital authorities said more than 70 people were admitted on Tuesday. Police made some 160 arrests throughout the day.
Hong Kong’s protests were ignited by a now-scrapped plan to allow extraditions to the mainland.
But after Beijing and local leaders took a hardline they snowballed into a wider movement calling for democratic freedoms and police accountability.
With Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam seemingly unwilling or unable to find a political solution, police have been left to battle increasingly radicalised protesters.
Sentiment is hardening on all sides.
Protesters and some local residents routinely shout “triads” at officers often respond by calling demonstrators “cockroaches”.
The protest movement’s main demands are an independent inquiry into police actions, an amnesty for those arrested and universal suffrage.
But Beijing and Lam have said they are unwilling to meet those demands.
MSNBC panel bursts out laughing after watching clip of Alan Dershowitz explaining his Trump defense strategy
On MSNBC Saturday, a panel of legal experts tore into former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, which anchor Joy Reid played for them in a clip.
"You cannot make any sense out of it. It is an absurd comment," said former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, to laughter around the table. "It is the standard by which we have impeached in the past. If you listen to the witnesses at the House, three out of four said that is an impeachable offense. The articles against Richard Nixon included abuse of power. It is clearly what was intended by our framers. It's what the Federalist Papers say, and it's the thing that makes sense. Other high crimes and misdemeanors are exactly that. It isn't under the federal statutes that they were talking about. Bribery isn't under the federal statute because there was no federal bribery crime when the Constitution was passed. It was whatever people thought it was."
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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
One of Donald Trump's great gifts is an instinct for surrounding himself with people who are so sleazy and lacking in credibility that when they're indicted for some scam or flip on him and reveal his abuses of power they're easy to discredit.
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On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "AM Joy," law professor and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal walked through the problems with President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team, which includes such notable names as former anti-Clinton independent counsel Ken Starr and retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
"I'm not going to like join the chorus of those who say because Trump has hired Epstein's lawyers, that's somehow bad," said Katyal. "I think it's dangerous thing in this country to attack the lawyers for the clients that they've represented in the past. We don't want to incentivize great lawyers not to take hard cases because of fear of personal attacks later."