Hong Kong protesters occupied streets of Central again on Tuesday, prompting crowds of office workers to join in solidarity.
Thousands have gathered on Pedder Street during lunchtime in a repeat of scenes the day before. On Monday, police fired tear gas in the busy financial district after angry crowds congregated in response to the shooting of a demonstrator with live ammunition by a police officer in the morning. Crowds returned the next day with some protesters forming roadblocks.
Crowds chanted multiple slogans including the popular “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times!”, “Disband Hong Kong’s police now!” and the new “Hongkongers, take revenge!”. They also chanted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong!” and “Five demands, not one less!” in English.
Ms Chan, who works in Sheung Wan, told Now TV that she was using her lunch break to join the protest in Central: “Central is a very important place in Hong Kong. Even if I cannot strike, I want to help [people] here,” she said.
Mr Chan, who works in finance in Central, said he wanted to join as a peaceful protester: “Central is always full of people anyway,” he said. “[The police] tear-gassed us here yesterday, it’s outrageous.”
Before the mass gathering in the afternoon, some protesters laid plastic tubes with metal nails poking out on the road near Connaught Road Central, however, police quickly cleared the objects.
A small fire was started outside an Emporio Armani store in Central but was also quickly extinguished by firefighters.
A group of protesters mostly wearing black formed a frontline using umbrellas on Pedder Street. They were joined by some office workers who marched forward with masks.
Police briefly raised a black flag at 12:56pm warning the crowd of impending tear gas but retreated without firing shortly after.
At around 3:26pm, police fired tear gas to clear the remaining crowd.
Meanwhile, protesters conducted a spontaneous march in Kwun Tong along Wai Yip Street during lunchtime. Some briefly erected roadblocks before riot police arrived to disperse the crowd.
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