Hundreds stage flash mob protest in Central for 2nd day

November 12, 2019 16:30
Demonstrators hold umbrellas during a lunchtime protest in Hong Kong’s Central district on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

More than a thousand people, many wearing office clothes and face masks, rallied in the Central business district on Tuesday, blocking roads in a flash mob protest.

For the second day in a row, the financial district saw a lunchtime demonstration against the government, prompting the police to step in.

Buses were vandalized to stop them from being driven away, as protesters made use of the vehicles to help block traffic in the area, RTHK reports.

Riot officers soon appeared and warned they would fire tear gas at the crowd. But this failed to disperse the protesters and their action continued for hours, the public broadcaster noted.

Some crouched behind umbrellas as the police stood by.

Others chanted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” and “Five demands, not one less”, referring to calls for universal suffrage and an independent probe into perceived police brutality, among other demands.

Tension eased as the lunch hour ended, but many people milled around the streets, in between the bricks and barricades made of debris.

Riot police later left the scene.

On Monday, police fired volley after volley of tear gas in Central, where some protesters blocked narrow streets lined with banks, top-brand shopping malls and jewelry shops.

Most of the businesses pulled down their shutters on Tuesday. 

In an ominous sign, the Chinese University in the New Territories said some people had broken into a storeroom and made off with bows, arrows and javelins. All were later retrieved, it said.

There was chaos earlier as people thronged metro stations only to stream out again after some train services were suspended.

Some roads were closed with long traffic jams building during rush hour, a day after some of the worst violence to rock the city. A protester was shot by police and a man set on fire on Monday.

Universities and schools canceled classes, with students, teachers and parents on edge.

More than 260 people were arrested on Monday, police said, bringing the total number to more than 3,000 since the protests escalated in June. With Reuters

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