HONG KONG PROTESTS
The streets of Hong Kong have been racked by violence and destruction since the anti-government movement sprung into life in June. Hard-core protesters have clashed with riot police and those with opposing political views in shocking outbreaks of conflict, leading to more entrenched divisions that carve right through society.
The spiralling crisis, sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, has seen radical activists broaden their targets to the railway system and businesses with mainland China links, with the escalating situation taking many by surprise.
An 18-year-old protester was shot in the chest and a younger teenager hit in the leg with live ammunition fired by police. An Indonesian reporter was blinded in one eye by a suspected rubber bullet, while about4,500 canisters of tear gas more than 1,800 rounds of rubber bullets have been fired at protesters.
More than 150 petrol bombswere thrown at police, as well as bricks and other projectiles. Ninety per cent of MTR stations have been vandalised, pro-China businesses targeted, fires started on the streets and undercover police attacked, while radical protesters were accused of throwing corrosive liquid at officers. Meanwhile, Hongkongers for and against the government have engaged in bloody fist fights, as major rifts in society deepened. More than 2,000 arrests have been made so far. This is a visual key to events as they unfolded...
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.
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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