Hong Kong protesters held paper-burning protests in Wong Tai Sin and Sha Tin on Friday, which resulted in police arresting five people for unlawful assembly.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Protesters gathered on the roadside in Wong Tai Sin at around 8pm, and burnt offerings and joss paper – some bearing the image of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and police commissioner Stephen Lo. A picture of pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho’s face was also attached to a paper dummy.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Dozens were seen at the Wong Tai Sin Square, outside the neighbourhood bus terminal, as well as the intersection of Tung Tau Tsuen Road and Shatin Pass Road.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Organisers of the protest – which imitated traditional Chinese rituals – said they wanted to “pray for blessings and ward off evils.” Under Hong Kong law, religious gatherings do not require prior approval from the police.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

After 9pm, some protesters moved to the nearby Wong Tai Sin Disciplined Services Quarters and burnt offerings at the road outside. Officers appeared on the scene with police dogs.

Objects were also thrown from above and landed near protesters.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The Disciplined Services Quarters had been the site of multiple violent clashes over the past week, with police firing tear gas nearby last Sunday and Monday.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Police and protesters were locked in a standoff, until police in riot gear emerged after 11pm.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Police began clearance operations at around midnight, as some officers in riot gear ran into the crowd of protesters and made arrests. Some people at the scene reported being hurt by police batons.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Five men were arrested for unlawful assembly, with one 17-year-old man arrested for failing to produce identification documents.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

All remaining protesters dispersed shortly before 1am.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The grassroots residential neighbourhood of Wong Tai Sin has become a protest flashpoint in August, with the Disciplined Services Quarter being singled out as a target for protesters.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

On the August 5 general strike, protesters occupied Lung Cheung Road – the main thoroughfare in the area – and kicked off hours of clashes that saw police regularly fire tear gas.

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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.