Date
5 December 2019
A protester is restrained by riot police officers during an anti-government demonstration in Sha Tin on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
A protester is restrained by riot police officers during an anti-government demonstration in Sha Tin on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Violence spreads in New Territories in 24th weekend of unrest

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to break up rallies as activists blocked roads and trashed shopping malls across Hong Kong’s New Territories and Kowloon peninsula on Sunday during the 24th straight weekend of anti-government unrest.

Protesters shouted abuse at “black police” in Cantonese wherever officers appeared, referring to perceived brutality against demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city that show no sign of let-up after more than five months.

Pro-democracy protesters vandalized a train station in the central new town of Sha Tin and a restaurant seen as being pro-Beijing, overturning banqueting tables and smashing glass panels, two weeks before the District Council elections.

Violence spilled out onto the streets of Tuen Mun outside the V city shopping mall, with running battles between riot police and protesters.

Now TV showed pictures of a circular, red welt and bruise on the upper arm of one of its reporters who said she had been hit by a tear gas canister in Tsuen Wan, to the west of the New Territories.

Police fired tear gas later in the afternoon outside the shopping mall Citywalk and also late in the evening to clear Chung On Street and other areas in the district.

The MTR station was closed in Sha Tin, amid scuffles between police and protesters young and old, on a day of planned shopping mall protests throughout the territory. Shopping districts across the harbor on the main island were quiet.

Protesters daubed graffiti and damaged shops at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong and “stormed” stores in Tsuen Wan, police said.

The violence spread to the Kowloon district of Mong Kok, one of the world’s most densely populated areas. Police used water cannon and volley after volley of tear gas to try to clear the main artery of Nathan Road, which was littered with loose bricks under the bright, neon lights.

Police also fired tear gas late at night in the New Territories district of Tai Po, north of Sha Tin.

At least 88 people were arrested on Sunday as of 11:30 p.m. 

According to the Hospital Authority, 15 people – 11 males and four females, aged 15 to 44 – were sent to hospital with protest-related injuries. Among them, seven were hospitalized, in stable condition, while the others had been discharged. With Reuters

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JC/CG