Violence returns to HK
Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong yesterday, ending a rare lull in violence, as residents took to the streets chanting “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”.
The protest in the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui followed a march by hundreds of people to the US consulate to show “gratitude” for US support for the demonstrations that have agitated the Chinese-ruled city for six months.
Shops and businesses in the area closed early as police sprayed volleys of tear gas at protesters, including some elderly residents and others with their pets, as they marched past the city’s Kowloon waterfront, home to luxury hotels and shopping malls.
Police made several arrests as the tear gas sent hundreds fleeing towards the harbour.
Hong Kong, a major financial hub, had enjoyed relative calm for the past week since local elections last Sunday delivered an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates.
Activists pledged, however, to maintain the momentum of the anti-government movement. Protests in the former British colony since June have at times forced the closure of government offices, businesses, schools and even the international airport.
Waving posters that read “Never forget why you started” and black flags with the logo “Revolution now”, protesters occupied several main roads yesterday, with young residents and families with children filling the nearby streets.
By Sunday night, the crowds of protesters had diminished and some roads reopened to traffic.