Hong Kong saw its most extensive clashes yet during the summer’s anti-extradition bill movement, as Monday’s general strike escalated into city-wide skirmishes between protesters and riot police.

Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP.

Police fired tear gas in at least seven different districts: Tin Shui Wai, Wong Tai Sin, North Point, Admiralty, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po and Tsim Sha Tsui.

Police fire on protesters in Wong Tai Sin. Photo: Apple Daily.

The grassroots residential neighbourhood Wong Tai Sin saw some of the most fierce clashes, with tear gas being repeatedly fired from 3:30pm onwards.

Riot police tried to clear Lung Cheung Road of protesters, who took over the district’s main thoroughfare after spilling over from a nearby rally.

See also: Hong Kong police made 420 arrests since June 9; 1,000 tear gas rounds, 160 rubber bullets fired during protests

Later in the afternoon, police also fired tear gas outside the Wong Tai Sin Disciplined Services Quarters on Shatin Pass Road.

Riot police fire tear gas onto protesters occupying Harcourt Road. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Meanwhile in Admiralty, police tried to clear protesters occupying Harcourt Road at around 4pm. Officers fired tear gas from behind water-filled barricades outside the government’s headquarters.

After their strategy failed to deter demonstrators, police fired tear gas from a nearby rooftop and an elevated platform.

Protesters retreated from Admiralty at 6:30pm and headed east on Hong Kong Island towards North Point.

More tear gas fired

In Tai Po, protesters and police were locked in a standoff at the intersection of Tai Po Tai Wo Road and Nam Wan Road. Police fired tear gas multiple times after 6pm.

Police fire tear gas in Tin Shui Wai. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Demonstrators in Tin Shui Wai went to their local police station on Monday afternoon to protest the alleged manhandling of a female arrestee. Police fired tear gas around 2:30pm, and again in the evening.

See also: Hong Kong protesters occupy Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza as mass strike grips city

Local media reported that police officers fired at crowds from within the police station grounds at around 7pm. An officer fired from the third or fourth floor of the building without warning, and rubber bullets were found on the ground, according to RTHK.

Over in the tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui, police fired tear gas on Hillwood Road, near the local police station. Some distance away, protesters were also seen taking down the China national flag on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and throwing it into the sea.

Police fire tear gas in Tsuen Wan. Photo: Apple Daily.

Tear gas was also reported at the South Regional Police Headquarters and outside the Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan.

Strike escalation

Monday’s general strike was accompanied by eight rallies spread across Hong Kong, meant for protesters to gather and express solidarity. However, activists quickly changed tack and occupied roads instead.

Protesters also lit fires outside different police stations, including those in Tuen Mun and Sha Tin.

The Cross-Harbour Tunnel was also blocked intermittently starting from 6:30pm – the third time the protest tactic has been used since Saturday.

Photo: InMediahk.net.

Long stretches of Nathan Road in Kowloon were also occupied on Monday afternoon.

Admiralty. Photo: InMediahk.net.

Mob attacks

As night fell in North Point, men in white attacked protesters on the streets, hitting them with large bamboo sticks.

The scene was reminiscent of the Yuen Long attacks in July which left 45 injured. Some of the 23 arrested over the violence had triad backgrounds, according to police.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that some protesters were trying to foment “revolution” and “destroy Hong Kong,” adding that violence would only complicate the city’s predicament.

At a press conference, police said they have fired some 1,000 rounds of tear gas, 160 rubber bullets and 150 sponge grenades since large-scale anti-extradition bill protests erupted on June 9.

On Tuesday, officials from China’s State Council will hold a second press conference in as many weeks to address the protests in Hong Kong.

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Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.