Hong Kong metro partially open after weekend marked by arrests

Monday, 07 Oct, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced on October 4 that she would invoke the colonial-era Emergency Regulation Ordinance to enact the ban, without discussion or voting by Hong Kong's legislature.to quell protests now in their 18th straight week. The protests eventually escalated into violent confrontations between demonstrators and the police.

Thousands of masked protesters still came out onto the streets throughout Saturday despite the mask ban and transport gridlock, although the crowds were smaller than recent rallies.

As the day wore on, protesters started to target subway stations and China banks, just as they did on Friday, which forced the unprecedented closure of the city's metro railway.

In the northern district of Yuen Long, a plainclothes police officer opened fire when he was surrounded in his vehicle and attacked by protesters, a petrol bomb exploding at his feet.

Protester numbers Saturday appeared down from previous weekends when tens of thousands flooded the streets.

Tear gas was also deployed in Central, Wanchai, Mong Kok, Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po.

Personnel on the roof of the barracks of the People's Liberation Army in the Kowloon Tong neighborhood raised a yellow flag warning marchers they were breaking the law and could be prosecuted - the first time protesters have elicited a reaction from the Chinese military.

Large crowds marched through torrential rain in unsanctioned rallies on both sides of Victoria Harbour while police battled protesters in multiple locations, plunging the finance hub into chaos once more. Protesters had smashed up the taxi. A woman was taken to hospital with broken bones after the taxi rammed the crowd, according to social media posts and video footage from the scene.

Other images show protesters beating a man unconscious in the confusion.

Further protests are planned in different districts this evening.

Live ammunition was also reportedly fired near Prince Edward station.

Lam has said she will seek the council's backing for the law when its session resumes October 16 and hasn't ruled out further measures if the violence continues.

"The government is getting more and more outrageous", Chan said. "Nobody finds the use of emergency regulations acceptable".

Protest-scarred Hong Kong struggled to recover on Monday after scores of people were arrested in violent clashes overnight and as the last British governor of the Chinese-ruled city warned that people could be killed.

"This is a university", one student argued.

A woman who joined the march on Hong Kong Island said the main reason she had come out was to protest over the use of emergency powers.

Some of the protesters, pushing back on Beijing's influence, have expressed concern that the mainland could interfere more since Lam's decision to invoke emergency powers with the anti-mask ban. In the name of law they are trying to hurt the people and they try to crush the opposition.

"That's why opposing the use of emergency regulations is the most important thing", she said.

However, Ip's Executive Council colleague and lawmaker Regina Ip said banning websites would not be feasible in an interview with TVB news channel broadcast on Sunday.

The clip has gone viral in mainland China, where news about Hong Kong is strictly censored. That proposal has been withdrawn, but the unrest has swelled into a movement seeking direct elections for Hong Kong's leaders and an independent investigation into the police.

"From MTR to EmptyR", tweeted activist Joshua Wong, a key player in 2014 protests that foreshadowed the past four months of demonstrations that have snowballed into a sustained flare of anti-government and anti-China fury.

The current "precarious situation", which endangered public safety, left no timely solution but the anti-mask law, Matthew Cheung, Hong Kong's chief secretary, wrote on his blog on Sunday.