Protests broke out across Kowloon and the New Territories on Saturday night as parts of four MTR stations were vandalised.

The wildcat demonstrations came after a planned “stress test” traffic jam at Hong Kong’s airport was largely thwarted by a heavy police presence and vehicle searches. Scuffles nevertheless broke out in nearby Tung Chung during the afternoon.

Prince Edward MTR Station became the first to shut down in the afternoon after up to a dozen protesters raised placards inside.

After 8pm, protesters began heckling officers at Mong Kok Police Station – a frequent occurrence over the past week.

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Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Some set makeshift barricades on fire. Less than an hour later, riot police advanced towards them and fired at least one projectile.

Officers from the Police Tactical Unit ran quickly onto footbridges in Mong Kok, making at least one arrest. While giving chase outside Prince Edward’s Pioneer Centre at 10pm, they subdued several other protesters.

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Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok. Photo: Kaiser/United Social Press.

MTR protests

Throughout the afternoon, protesters staged sit-ins at various MTR-owned malls across Hong Kong, including Kowloon Bay’s Telford Plaza and Shatin’s Citylink Plaza.

The Hong Kong rail operator has been accused of colluding with the police and has been criticised for refusing to hand over CCTV footage of an incident in Prince Edward MTR station last Saturday. On the night in question, baton-wielding police stormed the platform and deployed pepper spray, making several arrests and leaving several injured. Netizens have since circulated an unverified rumour that there were deaths during the mass arrests.

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Sha Tin Wai station. Photo:

On Saturday evening, some protesters vandalised turnstiles and ticket machines at stations including Sha Tin, Sha Tin Wai, Tai Po Market and Tseung Kwan O.

Riot police ordered journalists out of Sha Tin and Tai Po Market stations as they entered and made arrests. Sha Tin station was closed at 11pm, as protesters moved to Sha Tin New City Plaza.

Over the course of evening, reports also emerged of knife attacks against protesters and passers-by in Prince Edward and Sha Tin.

Since June, large-scale peaceful protests against the now-withdrawn extradition bill have morphed into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy and police brutality.

A march to the US Consulate is planned for Sunday afternoon to show support for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, expected to be put to the vote in Congress in the near future. The Act proposes to allow Washington to sanction Hong Kong and mainland Chinese officials for “suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong”.

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Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.