Friday, 13 December, 2019


Protestors' arrow leave policeman wounded in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests which were originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests which were originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition
Bennie Garza | 18 November, 2019, 07:41

On Saturday morning, a group of around 500 people, mostly middle-aged and senior citizens, rallied outside the Hong Kong government's headquarters to show support for the police, who have been heavily criticised over their handling of the crisis.

Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan, reporting from Hong Kong, said the university and its surroundings is the last stand of the protesters.

Masked student protesters increasingly resorted to the use of bows and arrows on Sunday and a police officer was injured during clashes.

ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles was at the scene and described what he saw as "all hell is breaking loose".

Many protesters wore gas masks or tied handkerchiefs over their mouths and noses to protect themselves from clouds of tear gas.

The protests took a turn in early November after the protest-related death of a 22-year-old student, the first since the demonstrations began.

Tensions are escalating in Hong Kong as clashes between police and protesters stretch into their fifth month.

An armoured vehicle was hit by a flurry of petrol bombs as it edged towards protesters on a flyover near the campus, while a nearby footbridge was set ablaze.

Some managed to escape, while dozens were arrested by police, local media reported.

One video, from the South China Morning Post, shows what police would be confronted with if and when they chose to make their move.

Many residents are wearied by the sapping protests.

Now it's a war zone.

Protesters at the campus appeared resolute - a twist in tactics by a leaderless movement so far defined by its fluid, unpredictable nature. Protesters are trying to keep the pressure on Hong Kong leaders, who have rejected most of their demands.

Protesters say the Communist Party is threatening freedoms guaranteed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Chinese state media repeatedly broadcast comments made on Thursday by President Xi, in which he denounced the unrest and said "stopping violence and controlling chaos while restoring order is now Hong Kong's most urgent task".

Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.

The bill was eventually withdrawn but the protests continued, having evolved into a broader revolt against the police, and the way Hong Kong is administered by Beijing.

But Icarus Wong Ho-yin of the Hong Kong-based Civil Rights Observer said similar devices used by New York City Police Department (NYPD) had made demonstrators dizzy.

Demonstrators, angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the former British colony, have said they are responding to excessive use of force by police.

On the major road link next to the university, police vehicles with water cannon advanced on barricades set up by protesters but pulled back when petrol bombs were thrown.

Protesters began retreating into the university near sunset, fearing they would be trapped as police approached from many directions.

Police and protesters faced off all day outside Polytechnic after a pitched battle the previous night in which the two sides exchanged tear gas and gasoline bombs that left fires blazing in the street.

Another group threw bricks in the street to block a main thoroughfare in the Mongkok district, as police fired tear gas to try to disperse them.

They tossed paving stones onto stretches of Nathan Road as police chased them with tear gas.

Hong Kong's airport authority on Sunday said October traffic figures were down 13 per cent on previous year with 5.4 million passengers as the economy takes a battering.

Pro-democracy lawmakers immediately condemned the move as a violation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini constitution, which forbids interference by mainland Chinese soldiers unless formally requested by the Hong Kong government.

A "Blossom Everywhere" campaign of roadblocks and vandalism across the semi-autonomous financial hub shut down large chunks of the train network and forced schools and shopping malls to close.

Classes have been canceled since Thursday, after the bureau came under criticism for not doing so earlier.

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