All-day confrontation began early with police pumping frontal protesters with water cannons that emitted irritating blue fluid and gulfs of tear gas. The protesters responded with barrage of hammer cocktails. At one point, a police liaison officer was struck in the calf by an arrow.
Much of the battle was centered on the bridge leading to the campus from the nearby metro station, which was filled with barricades by protesters. At nightfall, they repeatedly set him on fire to prevent police from advancing to the university.
Police announced at 9:00 PM. that the next round of operation is starting, leading to speculation that they will storm the campus. They have threatened to arrest those involved in the riots, which could result in up to 1
0 years in prison.
University authorities had asked students not to engage in violence. In a statement, they said they "were very concerned that spiraling radical illegal activities would not only pose a huge threat to campus safety, but also lead to class suspension for an indefinite period."
Kowloon University is a key cross a harbor tunnel that protesters have blocked in recent days, burning up toll booths. Universities have become the latest flash of protests that shook this semi-autonomous territory to its core.
In the face of an increasingly sharp police explosion, protesters took on an eclectic range of weapons, including bows and arrows and jaws – probably appropriated by campus sports departments.
However, in the fighting on Sunday, the protesters' key weapons were gas bombs. At one point, a police van moving toward its barricades was ignited by a storm of mall cocktails and forced to retreat.
Polytechnic University was one of the last strongholds on campus after an intense week of protests focused on urban universities. After police besieged Hong Kong University in Hong Kong last week, protesters barricaded other campuses as well as major roads, stopping the city and schools.
On Saturday, members of the People's Liberation Army, China's military, left their barracks to help clear the obstacles protesters had raised around universities. It was the first PLA appearance on the streets of Hong Kong since the outbreak of a protest against democracy in June.
As a semi-autonomous territory, Hong Kong is legally different from mainland China. Although the army's presence here was not unprecedented – it also emerged in September 2018 to help with the Typhoon Manghut severe disaster – the move was a slow but significant development. Under Hong Kong law, the PLA may not interfere in local affairs unless invited by the Hong Kong Government.
On Saturday, the Hong Kong government denied inviting the PLA to clear roadblocks, saying the work was "voluntary public activity", according to China's state-run CGTN. The development has sparked intense criticism from Democrat lawmakers, who said it was illegal and a PR pursuit to normalize the army's presence on the territory.
At a rally in Hong Kong's central business district, Alex said the development was
"They cannot volunteer because they are soldiers," said the 35-year-old official, who gave only his first name for fear out of retribution. "They convey a message that they will be leaving. They will take action if the situation does not improve. ”
The Bureau of Education announced that all classes would be canceled on Monday. Classes were suspended for much of last week, as protests and a strike paralyzed the city. Two university campuses have left classes by the end of the semester.
Anna Kam and Tiffany Liang contributed to this report.