A protest in Tsim Sha Tsui has turned into another multi-district confrontation between protesters and police.
The rally on Sunday began at 3pm in Salisbury Garden under the theme “Stand with civilians, journalists and the Muslim community” – a reference to the police’s treatment of those communities during protests and an incident on October 20 where a police water cannon truck fired blue liquid at a mosque in Kowloon.
Mass protests have lasted for more than 21 weeks, initially against a now-withdrawn extradition bill. However, demonstrations have evolved into a wider movement calling for democracy and opposing police brutality.
More than a thousand people gathered at Salisbury Garden on Sunday, with some walking out onto Salisbury Road.
Riot police regularly checked the identity cards of those near the site wearing black. Officers attempted to arrest a man waving a flag and were surrounded by protesters.
Some threw objects at police and, at 3:40pm, officers responded with pepper spray and tear gas.
Police also fired suspected rubber bullets outside the Sogo department store on Middle Road, according to RTHK. Some protesters were seen entering the Peninsula Hotel to avoid tear gas and projectiles.
Meanwhile, police were filmed checking a Now TV cameraman’s press pass during the protest. One officer asked: “Why does it say PCCW?” The cameraman explained that PCCW – an information and communications technology company – owns Now TV, and was let go shortly after.
Police conducted searches in To Kwa Wan, Ho Man Tin, Hung Hom and Yau Ma Tei to arrest those leaving Tsim Sha Tsui.
Outside Pui Ching Middle School, police arrested at least six people, and on Pentland Street, around ten people were also arrested. Some protesters removed their protective equipment and entered the St Teresa’s Hospital as police stood outside, according to Ming Pao.
A Stand News reporter was pushed to the ground by riot police on a bridge while filming.
Posted by Stand News 立場新聞 on Sunday, 27 October 2019
“How do I know you don’t have a knife?” the officer said.
At around 6:20pm, police fired liquid from a water cannon truck on Mody Road.
According to the police, protesters set fire to shops in Jordan and hurled petrol bombs at Sham Shui Po Police Station, blocking roads and assaulting officers with hard objects and umbrellas.
“Police officers have repeatedly warned the rioters that they are participating in an unauthorised assembly, which constitutes a criminal offence. Police once again warn all rioters to stop all illegal acts and appeal to bystanders to leave immediately. Police will use the minimum necessary force to effect dispersal and arrest,” the statement read.
Riot police and protesters also clashed in Whampoa, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok, where tear gas was fired.
Multiple exits to Mong Kok MTR station were set alight. The rail operator has been a target of vandalism after it began closing stations ahead of and during protests.
Journo in grey shirt Ronson Chan of @StandNewsHK was hit by a rubber bullet or foam grenade shot by police in retreat on Argyle St. This is before it happened. Guns were pointed in close range. pic.twitter.com/OzdjpMcO1C
— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) October 27, 2019
Ronson Chan, a Stand News reporter, was hit in the leg by a police projectile while live streaming in Mong Kok.
At around 8pm, police officers were filmed asking reporters to remove their gas masks in Mong Kok.
“Remove your mask – we have not fired [tear] gas and there’s no need to wear a gas mask. Don’t you get it?” the officer said.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s government enacted the anti-mask law using the 1922 Emergency Regulation Ordinance. Although the government had said that members of the press would not be affected by the measure, cases have emerged of officers attempting to remove reporters’ masks while working.
At around 10:15pm, police were filmed firing pepper spray and tear gas at reporters in Mong Kok.
Riot police were filmed shoving an RTHK reporter, attempting to grab his camera and telling him to leave the scene.
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