Protests in Hong Kong continued over the August 31st weekend with increasing violence.
On August 31st, peaceful “pro-democracy” demonstrators rampaged through Hong Kong’s city center, setting fires and throwing petrol bombs at riot police. One of the places where protests set fire was the Hong Kong Police HQ.
Police fought back by throwing tear gas, using their batons and a water cannon. Amnesty International disregarded the Molotov Cocktails protesters were throwing entirely, but said that what police were doing was “horrifying.”
“Pro-democracy” protesters on September 1st stormed the Tung Chung Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station, but not before setting up barricades and placing road blocks at the Hong Kong airport and disrupt its operation.
At the Tung Chung MTR Station, protesters dismantled turnstiles, while using crowbars to smash clocks and ticketing machines. The peaceful protesters, then, made their way outside to smash CCTV cameras and streetlamps.
A barricade was set on fire, and firefighters rushed to the scene to extinguish the blaze.
Was on the train from Tung Chung headed to Hong Kong MTR, packed with protesters. We’ve all been told by MTR staff to get out of the train at Nam Cheong. pic.twitter.com/2vmPcZMdbK
— Afifah Ariffin (@AfifahCNA) September 1, 2019
A statement from Hong Kong Police said:
“Since around 5.30pm today, violent protestors have committed destructive acts extensively inside the Tung Chung MTR station. They dismantled CCTV cameras, damaged turnstiles and fire facilities, and smashed glass panes of a customer service center. Furthermore, radical protestors blocked multiple roads in Tung Chung, set fire to barricades and a national flag, paralyzing traffic.”
The Hong Kong government said Tung Chung station was “severely damaged” and that protesters had assaulted other members of the public during the demonstration.
“The protesters totally disregarded the needs of travelers and members of the public. They threatened with violence and took malicious revenge on people with different views as well as innocent people and organizations. Their acts are barbaric and outrageous. The police will take resolute enforcement actions against all illegal and violent acts to protect the safety and rights of the members of the public,” the government statement said.
Police said they arrested 63 people on suspicion of obstructing officers, unlawful assembly and criminal damage.
On September 2nd, the day when students come back to school, students took to the streets to disrupt public transport.
Riot police patrolled stations of the city’s mass transit railway network as protesters blocked train doors from closing, causing delays and throwing morning rush hour into chaos. Police were seen arresting at least one group of protesters.
Organizers estimated at least 9,000 students from more than 200 schools would be participating in the class boycott.
One of the protest organizers, Joshua Wong called for the September 2nd protest, and it did have police approval – at least for a sit-in in Central Hong Kong.
HKers assemble. What ever it takes. Tomorrow is the day for our class boycott. pic.twitter.com/56Gge77jTJ
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) September 1, 2019
At the same time, at the concluded G7 Summit, the member states issued a joint statement on the Hong Kong protests, backing the city’s autonomy.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing in Beijing said that the G7 shouldn’t meddle in China’s internal affairs.
“We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the statement made by the leaders of the G7 summit on Hong Kong affairs. We have repeatedly stressed that Hong Kong’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and that no foreign government, organization or individual has the right to intervene.”
These mark some of the most intense clashes since the protests started, and without any serious injuries to both sides.
That probably comes to MSM’s detriment since having new things to blame the Hong Kong authorities for would benefit “the democratic cause.”
It is yet to be seen if the protests will escalate further and if Hong Kong authorities will call in help from Beijing. So far, they have shown quite the resilience, in the face of continuous accusations and vandalism by the protesters.
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