Key events from Hong Kong’s anti-government protests

By Pablo Robles October 09, 2019

The streets of Hong Kong continue to be consumed by chaos and destruction since the anti-government movement sprang into life in June. Hard-core protesters have locked horns with riot police and those with opposing political views in unremittingly violent clashes.

The spiraling crisis, sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, has seen the transport system paralysed and businesses with mainland China links attacked while the government continued to refuse to cede to all five demands of the protesters.

The protests claimed the first known fatality when a university student succumbed to his injuries after falling from a car park near the site of a police dispersal operation. A vocational student was shot by police with a live round at point-blank range while across town on the same day a man was set ablaze following a heated argument with pro-democracy protesters.

By the second week of November, police had fired over 7,500 canisters of tear gas at protesters along with 3,500 rounds of rubber bullets and more than a dozen live rounds. Some 4,000 arrests have been made. Meanwhile, numerous projectiles have been hurled at police, including corrosive liquid and at least 350 petrol bombs.


On November 8, university undergraduate Chow Tsz-lok died four days after he reportedly fell from the third floor to the second floor of a car park amid chaotic confrontations between police and protesters. The news caused shock and grief across the city – sparking a fresh round of outrage, protests and violence.


On October 1, China’s 70th National Day celebrations were overshadowed by shocking unrest unfolding in Hong Kong. A schoolboy was shot in the chest with a live round and 1,400 rounds of tear gas were deployed by police to disperse crowds. Protesters were banned from wearing face masks, triggering a fresh wave of violence.

At least 42Km of street railings were taken apart during the first four months of anti-government protests. Protesters take railings from the pavement, secure them with cable ties and use them as roadblocks.


Carrie Lam announced the formal withdrawal of the anti-extradition bill following three months of clashes between protesters and police. The number of clashes reduced slightly but violence intensified as disruptions continued throughout the city.


One of the most violent months of this year’s protests, August saw a general strike and police firing live rounds for the first time. There was major disruption to the MTR network and airport with over 1,000 flights cancelled as protesters descend on the world travel hub.


Protesters stormed the Legislative Council complex, clashes spread over the harbour to Kowloon and riot police clashed with protesters inside a shopping mall as the summer of discontent continued. In Yuen Long a group of masked white-clad men wielding iron and wooden bars attacked protesters, journalists and passengers inside the MTR station, injuring at least 45.


This month’s protests had the highest attendances. The marches were generally peaceful but often became violent after they had finished.

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