HONG KONG – Protesters in Hong Kong throw gasoline bombs at a government headquarters and set fires on the streets while police stormed a subway car and struck passengers with sticks and pepper spray in scenes that seemed to blaze into the scene a city crushed by nearly three months of demonstrations for democracy.
Police had refused permission on March Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of China's decision against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong, but protesters anyway took to the streets all summer. They provoked and thwarted the police repeatedly, but generally withdrew after riot officers moved in, avoiding some of the direct clashes that characterized earlier protests.
However, at night, a video from Hong Kong TVB showed police on Prince Edward's subway platform swinging sticks at passengers who were returning to one end of a train car behind the umbrellas. The video also shows a pepper spray firing through an open door into a group sitting on the floor while a man holds his hands.
HONG KONG PROTESTERS HURT THE BAN TO STAND WITH THE POLICE, SHIPPING HIT, WATER CANON
It was not clear if all passengers were protesting. Police said they entered the station to make arrests after protesters attacked others and damaged property inside. TVB's video was widely shared on social media as another example of police brutality during protests. Angry mobs gathered in front of Prince Edward and near Mong Kok Station, where police say they made the arrests after protesters vandalized the customer service center and damaged the ticket machines.
Also Saturday, two police officers fired two warning shots into the air "to protect their own safety" after being surrounded by protesters near Victoria Park, the government said. For the second time, police fired warning shots after the incident last weekend.
Protests erupted in early June in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory of 7.4 million people. The extradition bill in China, which is now in the background, has raised concerns about what many in the city consider to be an erosion of the rights and freedoms residents must have within a single country, two systems.
Mostly young, black protesters took over roads and large intersections in shopping districts on Saturday as they gathered and left without an obvious destination.
Authorities closed streets and a metro stop near the Chinese government office and parked trucks with water cannons and erected additional barriers nearby, fearing protesters could head for the building. The office would be the end point of a hike the police did not allow.
Instead, a group of hardliners of protesters decided to take the police guarding the government headquarters behind large barriers ringing the building to keep the protesters at bay.
As others walked back and forth nearby, a large crowd, wearing helmets and gas masks, gathered outside. They directed laser beams at the officers' heads and threw objects over and above the bulkhead. Police responded with tear gas and protesters threw gasoline bombs at the compound.
Then came the blue water. A water truck launches plain water, followed by repeated bursts of colored water, coloring protesters and close journalists, and leaving blue puddles on the street.
Opposition continued for some time, but protesters began to move backwards as word spread that police had been heading in their direction. Several frontline protesters threw gasoline bombs at formation officers, but there were no major clashes when police cleared the area.
Protesters regrouped and blocked a large shopping street, piling up barricades and setting fire. Smoke blew through the air as hundreds of protesters waited on the other side of the makeshift barrier, many pointing laser beams piercing the night sky above them.
Fire fighters made their way into the crowded area on foot to extinguish the fire. Emergency police removed the barricades and moved quickly. It could be seen that several protesters were being detained, but by now most had left.
As police progressed east down Hennessy Road, protesters made another position in the Cowesy Bay shopping district. They threw gasoline bombs at police who fired tear gas and water cannons.
Protesters built another fire, smaller, in front of the department store in Sogo. Police waited behind the riot shields as firefighters extinguished the smoldering fire with fire extinguishers. When police moved in, the protesters withdrew again.
Other groups pass the Hong Kong port to Zim Sha Tsui, where police say they fire and throw gasoline bombs at Nathan Road.
Democratic lawmaker Lam Chowk-Ting said Hong Kong citizens will continue to fight for their rights and freedoms, despite the arrests of several prominent activists and lawmakers over the past two days, including activist Joshua Wong.
Protesters demand the full withdrawal of the extradition bill ̵
"I believe the government deliberately arrested several leaders of the Democratic camp for trying to threaten Hong Kong people not to go out against the evil law," Lam said in what was declared a Christian march,
"I believe that the government deliberately arrested several leaders of the Democratic camp for trying to threaten Hong Kong people not to go out against the evil law. "
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About 1,000 people switched to the Methodist church and police headquarters. They alternated between singing hymns and chanting slogans for the pro-democracy movement An online flyer for the demonstration called it a "prayer for sinners" and presented images of a Christian cross and put on board Hong Kong's chief executive Kari Lam, who proposed the extradition bill.
The Civil Rights Front on Cho For centuries, the organizer of the Democratic marches, which drew millions of people this summer, canceled their march after failing to win police approval. 19659005] The Standing Committee on the Legislature of China decreed on 31 August 2014 that Hong Kong residents could elect their leader directly, but that candidates would have to be approved by a nomination committee. The decision failed to satisfy the defenders of democracy in Hong Kong and led to the fallen protests at a 79-day occupying central center in which protesters camp on large streets in the financial district and other parts of the city.