Demonstrators stand behind a barricade during a protest in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
world

Hong Kong police use tear gas as protesters regroup

20 Comments
By James Pomfret and Jessie Pang

Hong Kong police fired tear gas to try to break up brick-throwing anti-government protesters who marched in pouring rain on Sunday, after violent clashes a day earlier prompted police to fire tear gas for the first time in more than a week.

The Chinese-ruled city's MTR rail operator suspended some services to try to prevent people gathering but protesters made it to a sports stadium in the vast container port of Kwai Chung, from where they marched to nearby Tsuen Wan.

Some dug up bricks from the pavement and wheeled them away to use as ammunition, others sprayed detergent on the road to make it slippery for the lines of police. There were clashes in many directions.

Police had warned earlier they would launch a "dispersal operation" and told people to leave. Water cannon were also sent in for the first time in recent protests.

"Some radical protesters have removed railings ... and set up barricades with water-filled barriers, bamboo sticks, traffic cones and other objects," they said in a statement.

"Such acts neglect the safety of citizens and road users, paralysing traffic in the vicinity," the statement said.

Activists threw petrol bombs and bricks on Saturday in the gritty industrial district of Kwun Tong, on the east of the Kowloon peninsula.

Police then used tear gas after some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and bricks and others tore up "smart" lamp posts equipped with surveillance cameras. Other demonstrators had set up roadblocks with bamboo scaffolding.

But the vast majority marched peacefully on Sunday.

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask emblematic of the many older, middle-class citizens at the march, said he had been at almost every protest and would keep coming.

"We know this is the last chance to fight for 'one country, two systems', otherwise the Chinese Communist Party will penetrate our home city and control everything," he said.

"If we keep a strong mind, we can sustain this movement for justice and democracy. It won’t die," Sung said.

Protesters say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement under which the former British colony returned to China in 1997 with the promise of continued freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

The protests, which started over a now-suspended extradition bill and evolved into demands for greater democracy, have rocked Hong Kong for three months and plunged the city into its biggest political crisis since the handover.

They also pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1.

Beijing has sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills just over the border.

Transport to the airport appeared normal on Sunday, despite protesters' plans for a day-long "stress test" of transport in the international aviation and financial hub.

Police said they strongly condemned protesters "breaching public peace" and that 19 men and 10 women had been arrested after Saturday's violence. More than 700 have been arrested since the demonstrations began in June.

The neighbouring gambling territory of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1999, elected former legislature head Ho Iat Seng as its leader on Sunday - the sole approved candidate.

Ho, who has deep ties to China, is expected to cement Beijing's control over the "special administrative region", the same status given to Hong Kong, and distance it from the unrest there.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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The deal is One country, two systems.

Beijing is trying to break the deal.

Bad Beijing. Bad boy.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Buy the Stock of Tear Gas Makers... apparently Companies producing Tear Gas are reporting extra business.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is really going to very ugly. Beijing is probably thinking how to be quell all of this. When the Tiananmen Square massacre happened we didn’t have a connected world like today with smartphones and access to the internet with up to the minute live news feed and other social media platforms like twitter and Facebook. The world is definitely watching. Beijing knows this, but the bigger question in the end is: do they care what the rest of the world thinks? We all know they could care less about freedom.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If China would allow Hong Kong to place their own elected leader and follow the agreement they signed no issues. This is pure dictatorship on the part of China. My my, how China has as usual said one thing while clearly intent to do another, at first China says it would only call on paramilitary forces at the request of Hong Kong, but today it is saying: "Beijing has sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills just over the border."

The protesters should get their own water cannons from powered generators and farming stations, use high pressure pumps and blast back. People do not want to be governed solely under a dictatorship anymore. Let freedom ring once again in Hong Kong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

rgcivilian1:  "Let freedom ring once again in Hong Kong."

Freedom has not rang in Hong Kong for over 200 years, and certainly not under British Rule. Read the history of Hong Kong riots when under British Rule. You can't ignore or change history - read it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

elected former legislature head Ho Iat Seng as its leader on Sunday - the sole approved candidate.

The CCP version of elections.

Macau should have written in a candidate of their choice.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Freedom has not rang in Hong Kong for over 200 years, and certainly not under British Rule.

The people in HK have the right to travel and leave as they choose, and the right to protest, if that’s not the basic of all freedoms, I don’t know what is.

Read the history of Hong Kong riots when under British Rule. You can't ignore or change history - read it.

Even knowing the history, you can’t change what was in the past no more than you can rewrite slavery, stop living in the past and being down. Life is good, it is what you make of it and good on every HK citizen to stand up and fight for freedom.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I guess it's a little harder to pretend the 'protesters' are 'peaceful' now that, like the 'Proud Boys' who 'protest' in the US, their violence is too open and obvious to edit out of the narrative.

What will be interesting is how the Hong Kong version of the antiFa will be described when those civilians tired of seeing the intimidation and harassment tactics against their fellow civilians by the 'protesters' decide to show up in numbers?

Oh, right, they'll be described as 'organized crime members' or their act deemed to have been orchestrated by 'the regime'.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There are reports the police have fired live shots at the protestors.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

bass4funk: "Freedom has not rang in Hong Kong for over 200 years, and certainly not under British Rule.

The people in HK have the right to travel and leave as they choose, and the right to protest, if that’s not the basic of all freedoms, I don’t know what is."

Why don't you address my comment instead of ranting on about the right to protest.

"Even knowing the history, you can’t change what was in the past"

This is exactly what I tell you with every comment, so why do you try to ignore/deny history? Why do you continue to pretend that everything was rosy?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Say NO to communism.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

China has been surprisingly patient. Everything happening now is between HK protestors and HK Police. You just can’t throw bricks at the police and expect no enforcement in any country. To use force will be admitting defeat and I don’t think they want a repeat Tiananmen. They’ve already put in plans to develop Shenzhen.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Terrorism is the combination of intolerance and violence, that is what we see and what we all shouldn't support.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

... criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature, and calls upon all States to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature.

--United Nation

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

It's interesting how China acts, i.e. suppressing freedom, in the very manner the anti-U.S people accuse the U.S. as acting.

Sooner or later China is going to crack down and crack down hard using military troops to control the rioters and impose martial law throughout HK. And I'll bet you'll want the U.S. (as "leader of the free world") to do something. But aren't you the same people who criticize the "imperialist colonizing bullying" U.S. for interfering in other countries' affairs?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Terrorism is the combination of intolerance and violence, that is what we see and what we all shouldn't support.

You're right. We need to support the people of HK in their defense against the terrorist CCP!

Stay Strong Hong Kong!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So Akie and Riperez, do you feel the people of Hong Kong should just lay down and give up their human rights to the CCP dictatorship that doesn't respect human rights? Is that the course of action you are recommending to the people of Hong Kong?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sooner or later China is going to crack down and crack down hard using military troops to control the rioters and impose martial law throughout HK. And I'll bet you'll want the U.S. (as "leader of the free world") to do something. But aren't you the same people who criticize the "imperialist colonizing bullying" U.S. for interfering in other countries' affairs?

Yes. What exactly is your point, that because we condemn the US we shouldn't condemn China? Or are you saying we should stop condemning America and give them a pass, because China is also doing it?

It's not clear what your point is in bringing this up. Please enlighten us.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is sickening to watch video of what is happening in Hong Kong. It is truly now a disaster zone, a no-go for ALL international travel. The cowardly PRC supporting police are striking unarmed protesters, men and women, with batons, injuring them. Tear gas is being used liberally in peaceful rallies. Even children are not being spared.

The world is watching you, horrible communist china. All power to the freedom loving HK people. Keep fighting for democracy , and hit the police back 100 times harder than they hit you. They cant hold back an 8 million person HK citizen army forever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Halwick

And I'll bet you'll want the U.S. (as "leader of the free world

Who on earth believes the U.S. is leader of the free world, except perhaps a few rabid right wing media channels.

I don't remember the rest of the world being offered that vote.

The "800 lb Gorilla of the free world" perhaps but I'm not sure anyone really fees free from the mess it is creating any more.

Sorry, the Trump golf thread got shut down. I wanted to reply to that. Are you seriously suggesting such decision could not be made in an office without the $190m security and transport tab? Is there something unique about men lugging their big bags around, swing their clubs, and look for holes in the bush that make golfing essential?

I think that sort of says it all.

Of course, in the good old days they used to be good places for keeping, women, Blacks, Jews, even Catholics out of discussions and opportunities. In a way, the expense of them had a similar role in Japan.

But now we have Hinako Shibuno.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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