Police fire water cannon, teargas as Hong Kong protest heats up
The police fired water cannon, teargas, and rubber bullets to dispel the crowd of protesters as they defied the police ban and marched towards police headquarters in Hong Kong’s central Wan Chai for 13th consecutive weekend.
While the rally was peaceful earlier in the day, the protestors wearing hard hats, gas masks and protective gear later lit barricades on fire outside government headquarters and attempted to storm through before riot police intervened, reported Al Jazeera.
Subsequently, the authorities fired blue-coloured liquid from a water cannon and bean-bag rounds after the protesters hurled petrol bombs and rocks into the premises as the blazes burned.
According to CNN, the demonstrators were pushed into Causeway Bay as the police continue to advance. Meanwhile, small groups of protesters charged forward throwing petrol bombs and banging poles.
This came after police ramped up a crackdown on the months-long protest movement, which erupted in June because of a proposed bill that would have allowed extraditions to China.
Though the draft has since been shelved, the protests against the government have continued with protesters issuing five major demands including the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Hours after arresting prominent activists including Joshua Wong, police also detained three legislators on Friday night. However, Joshua was released on bail later.
Saturday’s rally was called to mark the fifth anniversary of China’s rejection of demands for free elections in Hong Kong.
Over 800 protesters have been arrested by the police since the start of the agitations in June. The protestors have also been subjected to pepper spray by the police, who have resorted to other methods like batons and water cannon as well, to disperse the crowd on several occasions.
China has largely slammed the protests, calling for peace in the Chinese special administrative region. (ANI)