Hong Kong has now seen 13 successive
weeks of demonstrations.
The movement grew out of rallies
against a controversial extradition bill – now suspended – which would have
allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.
It has since become a broader
pro-democracy movement in which clashes have grown more violent.
During protests, crowds gathered by Prince Edward and Mong Kok stations in
Hong Kong’s Kowloon neighborhood.
Police said in a tweet they had responded at both sites after reports of
“radical protesters” assaulting citizens and damaging property.
In a statement, Hong Kong’s government also said some protesters had
“committed arson and “hurled miscellaneous objects and iron
railings” on to railway tracks, “completely disregarding the safety
of other passengers”.
Forty people were subsequently arrested for unlawful assembly, criminal
damage and the assault of police officers, police spokesperson Yolanda Yu told
However, several people complained of excessive force used by the
MTR, which operates the city’s subway line, told local media that three
stations – Prince Edward, Mongkok and Kowloon Bay – had been closed as a result
of the incident.
Protesters took to the streets in the Wan Chai district, many joining a Christian march, while others demonstrated in the Causeway Bay shopping district in the pouring rain. Many carried umbrellas and wore face masks.
Demonstrators took to the streets in the Wan Chai district, many joining a
Christian march, while others protested in the Causeway Bay shopping district
in the pouring rain. Many carried umbrellas and wore face masks.
On the 13th weekend of protests, demonstrators – chanting “stand with
Hong Kong” and “fight for freedom” – gathered outside government
offices, the local headquarters of China’s People’s Liberation Army and the
city’s parliament, known as the Legislative Council.
In the Admiralty district, some demonstrators threw fire bombs towards
officers. Earlier, protesters marched near the official residence of embattled
leader Carrie Lam, who is the focal point of much of the anger.
Police had erected barriers around key buildings and road blocks, and fired
tear gas and jets of blue-dyed water from the water cannon. The colored liquid
is traditionally used to make it easier for police to identify protesters.
The recent demonstrations have been characterized as leaderless.
On August 30, police had appealed to members of the public to cut ties with
“violent protesters” and had warned people not to take part in the
Police made a number of arrests on August 31.
During a 24-hour police crackdown, at least three activists – including
prominent 23-year-old campaigner Joshua Wong – and three lawmakers were
Joshua Wong, who first rose to prominence as the poster boy of a protest
movement that swept Hong Kong in 2014, was released on bail after being charged
over the protests which have rocked the territory since June.
Hong Kong is part of China, but enjoys “special freedoms”. Those
are set to expire in 2047, and many in Hong Kong do not want to become
“another Chinese city”.
Beijing has repeatedly condemned the protesters and described their actions
as “close to terrorism”. The protests have frequently escalated into
violence between police and activists, with injuries on both sides.
Activists are increasingly concerned that China might use military force to
On August 29, Beijing moved a new batch of troops into Hong Kong, a move Chinese state media described as a routine annual rotation.
Protesters initially gathered in Mong Kok, a Hong Kong district where
violent clashes took place during pro-democracy protests in 2014.
A group of demonstrators briefly blocked access to the Cross Harbour Tunnel,
causing traffic chaos, while others set up make-shift barricades on shopping
As the demonstrations dragged into the night, protesters gathered outside
the police station in Tsim Sha Tsui district. Officers then fired tear gas at
The South China Morning Post published
a police statement saying the “radical” group had set fires nearby and
had thrown bricks into the building.
The march comes after a group of civil servants – ordered to be politically
neutral – joined demonstrations in their thousands on August 2.
The rally followed the publication of an anonymous letter on Facebook
complaining about “extreme oppression” and listing five key demands –
the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill; waiving charges against those
arrested; an end to descriptions of protests as “rioting”; an
independent inquiry into the unrest; and resuming political reforms.
Supporters of Hong Kong’s police force also gathered earlier for a rally in Victoria
Some unions and organizations have reportedly already agreed to take part in the strike planned for August 5. There are also further demonstrations planned for August 4.
Tear gas has been fired by Hong Kong riot police at an unauthorized protest held by tens of thousands of people to condemn an attack by armed masked men last week.
As a small group of protesters refused to disperse in the northern district
of Yuen Long, police fired rubber bullets.
The protest took place where pro-democracy protesters had been attacked by
suspected triad gang members.
Police have been accused of turning a blind eye and colluding with the
attackers, claims they deny.
There were seven weeks of anti-government and pro-democracy protests in Hong
Kong sparked by a controversial bill that would have enabled extraditions to
The government has since halted the legislation but protesters have demanded
its complete withdrawal, as well as an inquiry into police violence, democratic
reform, and that Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam resign.
The July 27 rally had been banned by
the police, a highly unusual move in the territory, where protests are usually
Police say they refused permission
because they feared violent clashes between protesters and residents.
The march was planned as a response
to last Sunday’s attack, in which about 100 men descended on Yuen Long’s metro
station, beating protesters – as well as passersby and journalists – with
wooden and metal sticks.
The attack left 45 people injured
and was widely blamed on triad gang members. They appeared to target those
wearing black, the color people had been told to wear for the protest.
Triads are known to be active in Yuen Long – located in a rural northern
district in Hong Kong, near mainland China – and many local villagers have also
expressed opposition to the pro-democracy protests.
Tens of thousands defied the police ban and approached Yuen Long on July 27,
marching down some of the main roads.
Police observed and filmed the start of the protest, and riot police could
be seen on standby.
They said some protesters were holding iron poles and shields, and
“even removing fences from roads”.
Some protesters also surrounded and vandalized a police vehicle,
“causing danger to the life of the police officers on board”, they
Shortly after 17:00 local time, police began firing several rounds of tear
gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
The protesters – most wearing masks and hard hats – threw projectiles and swore
at police – but also parted to allow ambulances to go through.
Later in the evening, in an attempt to clear several hundred demonstrators,
police fired rubber bullets, injuring at least nine people, according to the
AFP news agency.
Protesters have been demanding an independent inquiry into police violence,
saying police used excessive force in several anti-extradition bill and
Demonstrators and pro-democracy legislators have alleged that the
authorities – including the police and pro-government legislators – had advance
knowledge of the attack.
Police say suggestions that they colluded with criminal gangs were a
“smear”, and that 12 people have so far been arrested, including nine
men with links to triads.
There have also been growing tensions between protesters and pro-Beijing
Earlier this week, pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho’s office was ransacked,
and his parents’ graves were vandalized.
Junius Ho had come under criticism after video footage showed him shaking
hands with white-shirted men on July 27 shortly before the attacks.
He said he did not know about the attack, but defended the men, saying they were simply “defending their home and people”.