Hong Kong police arrested at least five people on Sunday after protesters blocked roads and burned objects outside Mong Kok police station.
At around 9pm, a crowd gathered outside the police station to shout at officers inside and dub graffiti on the walls. Police raised a blue flag inside the station warning to use force.
Riot police subdued a person during their dispersal operation as officers fired a bean bag round and tear spray, which hit passers-by and journalists. Protesters then threw objects at the station.
Outside the station, a private vehicle crashed into a bus. The driver of the private car claimed he was affected by strong lights being used by officers inside the station.
“Your light fucking caused a crash,” a protester shouted at the station.
Hong Kong has entered the 16th week of protests, which was sparked by a now-axed extradition bill that would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to mainland China. Large-scale protests have morphed into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment and alleged police brutality, with thousands gathering at malls this week to sing protest songs.
At around 10pm, protesters burned objects outside the police station before firefighters arrived to put it out.
Riot police appeared on nearby Nathan Road to clear protesters, as the MTR Corporation announced that Prince Edward and Mong Kok stations would be closed.
Protesters blocked the thoroughfare and burned objects once again at around 11pm until riot police tried to clear the scene again, making several arrests.
During the clearance, several people in black clothing holding batons, who covered their faces, helped to subdue protesters and blocked journalists from recording the operation.
Journalists asked a woman – one of the group in black clothing – about her identity but she did not answer. A plainclothes officer wearing a police vest then confirmed that she was also an officer.
Day of unrest
Sunday night’s unrest came after earlier protests at shopping malls in Sha Tin, Nam Cheong and Kowloon station. Demonstrators attempted to hinder businesses accused of being pro-government and to the block operations of the MTR, which – in recent weeks – has become a target for protesters.
Protesters also convened at Tsing Yi MTR station, after surrounding a top government official at a nearby event.
At 4pm, dozens of riot police entered Tsing Yi MTR Station, and closed an exit leading to the nearby Maritime Square mall, where some protesters have gathered.
Photo: RTHK screenshot. #hongkong #hongkongprotests #antiELAB pic.twitter.com/ZfpsuzwKcI
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) September 22, 2019
Some also briefly gathered at Kwai Fong station after a young man was arrested by police. He stood accused of using laser pointers to irritate officers following a flashmob singing protest at a nearby mall. Some station facilities, including entrance gates, were damaged at Kwai Fong station.
At around 11pm, protesters also briefly blocked Pui To Road in Tuen Mun town centre before police arrested a man who argued with officers as they cleared barricades.
The government said it strongly condemns protesters’ “violent and vandalistic acts” across various districts.
“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government strongly condemns the protesters’ illegal behaviours. The Police will follow up in accordance with the law to bring lawbreakers to justice,” a spokesperson said.
“In response to online advocacy to disrupt the operation of the airport today, the Police and relevant parties worked together to adopt effective measures, ensuring the smooth operation of the airport. The HKSAR Government expresses gratitude to all parties for their hard work,” it added.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.