Police deploy water cannon to disperse violent crowds in Hong Kong

Monday, 26 Aug, 2019

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask like numerous older, middle-class citizens at the march earlier on Sunday afternoon, said he had been at nearly every protest and would keep coming.

At least six petrol bombs were thrown by protesters, some of whom took off down narrow side streets.

Hong Kong police resorted to using water cannon for the first time yesterday as violent clashes broke out with anti-government protesters on the streets of Tsuen Wan, which later spread to other districts.

Some protesters also sawed a "smart lamppost" and toppled it, to the cheers of others who watched on.

Demonstrators carry in bamboos sticks to block a road.

Protesters say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement under which the former British colony returned to China in 1997 with the promise of continued freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Demonstrations started against a bill that would have allowed extradition to China, but have bled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability in the semi-autonomous city.

KUHN: The government has recently pledged to reach out to the public once violent protests, which have occurred sporadically, have stopped.

"After repeated warnings to the protesters went futile, police officers have deployed tear gas and minimum force to disperse protesters", it said. On its 50th anniversary in 1989, two million people formed a 600-kilometer human chain in protest that stretched from Tallinn to Vilnius known as the Baltic Way.

A large group clashed with police on Saturday after a march in the Kowloon Bay neighborhood, building barricades and setting fires in the streets.

Transport to the airport appeared normal on August 25, despite protesters' plans for a day-long "stress test" of transport in the global aviation and financial hub.

DON'T MISS Hong Kong protests: Daredevil scales skyscraper to unfurl "peace flag" [BREAKING] China warns of Tiananmen Square response to mass Hong Kong protests [BREAKING] Hong Kong protest today: Why are there riots in Hong Kong? . A station spokeswoman, Amen Ng, rejected claims that RTHK was engaged in fake news.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Saturday urged protesters to "sit down and talk" and aims to establish dialogue with the city's youth.

"We welcome the release of Simon Cheng and are delighted that he can be reunited with his family", the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement, adding that Cheng and his family had requested privacy. Among those arrested was the organiser of the police-sanctioned Saturday march, Ventus Lau, who was held on suspicion of unlawful assembly, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

No details were given of his detention, with the Facebook post asking the "media and friends to give them some time and space, and we will explain more later". Britain said it welcomed the news.

Protesters take part in an anti-government rally in Kwai Fung and Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, China, 25 August 2019.

Riot police quickly announced they would begin a dispersal operation, an emerging tactic as authorities grow more and more intolerant of the dissent that continues to grip the city.

The protesters' five demands include the bill's complete withdrawal, Lam's resignation, universal suffrage for the chief executive and Legislative Council elections, an independent inquiry into alleged police violence against protesters and the granting of pardons for all protesters arrested so far.