Hong Kong police sparked controversy on Monday night after they forcefully entered a shopping mall in Ma On Shan to arrest a man. The incident took place during multi-district protests as the city simmered from a weekend of unrest over an emergency anti-mask law.
The law was enacted under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance on Saturday in an effort to calm the ongoing protests, but it gave rise to more demonstrations, vandalism and violence as thousands poured onto the streets.
On Monday, demonstrators sang popular protest songs at the MOSTown mall from around 8pm, before some moved on to Ma On Shan MTR station and committed acts of vandalism. Riot police arrived, but security guards tried to stop them from entering the mall.
The MTR has been a target after it began closing stations around protests under pressure from Chinese state media.
As riot police pushed in, residents inside the mall chanted: “What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy? This is a private area.”
They pushed a Stand News reporter – who was conducting a livestream – to the ground, as they subdued another man. The reporter said police pointed pepper spray at her, removed her glasses and took her charging cable. She was hoisted back up by an officer.
Residents then protested outside Ma On Shan police station.
In Tseung Kwan O, protesters damaged a Simplylife restaurant run by Maxim’s at the MTR’s station’s PopCorn mall. The caterer ran afoul of protesters after the daughter of the Maxim’s founder spoke out against the protests at the UN.
【暴徒從高處投擲單車擊中警員頭部】在晚上約9時左右，警方在將軍澳唐德街一帶驅散期間，有暴徒突然從高處向下投擲一輛單車，擊中一名警員的頭部，該警員跌倒地上，由旁邊的警員護送離開。警員頭部及頸部受傷，被送往醫院治理。警方強烈譴責暴徒罔顧他人性命的暴力行為，有圍觀的人更拍掌歡呼，聲援暴徒的惡行，令人心寒。現時仍有部分人集結在將軍澳一帶，拒絕聽從警方指示離開，有機會干犯非法集結罪。警方呼籲集結者立即離開。At around 9 PM, during the Police’s dispersal operation, some rioters suddenly dropped a bicycle from height, hitting an officer’s head. The officer fell onto the ground and was escorted to the hospital by his colleagues. He sustained injuries to his head and neck. The Police strongly condemn the life-threatening and violent acts of rioters. Appallingly, some onlookers even clapped their hands to incite the rioters. The protestors who are still gathering in Tseung Kwan O have refused to act on the Police’s instructions to leave. They may be liable to the offence of “unlawful assembly”. The Police appeal to all protestors to leave immediately.#止暴制亂 #香港平安
Posted by 香港警察 Hong Kong Police on Monday, 7 October 2019
Riot police dispersed protesters with tear gas.
At around 9pm on Tong Tak Street, a bicycle was thrown from above and hit an officer’s head. The officer sustained injuries to his head and neck, and was hospitalised.
“Police strongly condemn the life-threatening and violent acts of rioters,” the force said in a statement.
Arrests at estates
Also on Monday, police entered the Whampoa Garden estate in Hung Hom and the Kornhill estate in Tai Koo to arrest protesters.
Posted by 香港電台視像新聞 RTHK VNEWS on Monday, 7 October 2019
In Whampoa, a chief inspector took out his pistol during a quarrel with residents, before putting it back in his holster. An officer then fired pepper spray at residents.
Police also fired tear gas in Tai Po to clear protesters at a roadblock.
Officers entered an estate near Tai Po Plaza but it was uncertain if any arrests were made.
In Kowloon, several arrests were made in Prince Edward as protesters gathered outside the Mong Kok station – a frequent hotspot for unrest.
At around 6pm, blue liquid – infused with tear spray – was fired from the station without warning and hit three people including a HK01 reporter.
Protesters erected makeshift roadblocks along Nathan Road. Police cleared the barricades outside Mong Kok police station at least twice, and headed back to the station. They then swept down Nathan Road towards Jordan as protesters fled.
A Passion Times reporter was hit by a glass bottle thrown from above in Mong Kok, causing his head to bleed.
Throughout the night, protesters also tried to damage the MTR stations at Wong Tai Sin, Sha Tin Wai, City One, Tsuen Wan and Tsuen Wan West stations, as well as a branch of Genki Sushi – run by Maxim’s – at a City One shopping mall.
Some damaged Tai Tong Road light rail station in Yuen Long, before police took away three people.
Police said in a statement: “Their acts were completely lawless.”
“Since the situation deteriorated rapidly, police conducted dispersal operation with appropriate force, including tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds and 40mm react round to stop the violent acts of the protestors,” it said.
Since June, large-scale peaceful protests against a bill that would have enabled extraditions to China have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy and alleged police brutality. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she would not rule out asking for help from Beijing in subduing the demonstrations.
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