Posted on Nov 13, 2019
Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have paralysed parts of the Asian financial hub for a third day, with public transport, schools and many businesses closing as violence continues to escalate.
Around 1,000 protesters are reported to have blocked roads in the city’s Central business district during the lunchtime rush hour. Wearing face masks in defiance of a recently imposed ban, and dressed in office wear, they hurled bricks onto roads lined with some of the world’s most expensive real estate and luxury flagship stores.
Scores of riot police tried to disperse the crowds, grappling some people to the ground and beating others with batons near the city’s stock exchange.
Protesters and police had battled through the night at university campuses only hours after a senior police officer said on Tuesday the Chinese-ruled city had been pushed to the “brink of a total breakdown”. Many campuses remained tense. Activists had blocked roads, torched several vehicles, hurled petrol bombs at a police station and smashed part of a major shopping mall in various districts the previous night.
Fierce fighting raged through the night at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with streets inside and outside the entrance to the campus left littered with bricks, other debris, and street fires. A van used as part of a street barricade was set ablaze.
The flare-ups came after police shot an unarmed protester at close range on Monday and police said “rioters” doused a man with petrol and set him on fire in some of the worst violence since protests began more than five months ago. Police are still investigating.
Protesters are reportedly planning demonstrations across the harbour from Central on the Kowloon peninsula and in the outlying New Territories, with details being circulated on social media.
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