Hong Kong pushed to 'brink of total breakdown', police say

12 November 2019, 12:47 | Updated: 12 November 2019, 12:50

Students run past fire set near a bus during a face-off with riot police at the Chinese University in Hong Kong
Students run past fire set near a bus during a face-off with riot police at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. Picture: PA

On Tuesday police fired tear gas at two university campuses and in the Central financial district, as protesters disrupted morning trains.

Protesters and police faced clashes in and around several university campuses as classes were cancelled.

Students built roadblocks on streets in and around City University campus to stop police from entering. At one stage, a van used as part of a street barricade was set on fire.

Subways were partially shut down, due to the protests. Passengers on one commuter train disembarked short of the station and were escorted along the tracks in video shown on Hong Kong television.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, speaking after a weekly meeting with advisers, called the blocking of the morning commute “a very selfish act.”

“People from different sectors in society are holding fast to their positions and refusing to concede to violence or other radical actions,” she said.

“I hereby express my gratitude to those who are still going to work and school today.”

Referring to the last two days of violence, a police spokesperson said in a press conference, “Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown.”

He said masked “rioters” had committed “insane” acts, such as throwing trash, bicycles and other debris onto metro tracks and overhead power lines, paralysing the transport system.

Students stand near a fire and a charred vehicle during a face-off with riot police
Students stand near a fire and a charred vehicle during a face-off with riot police. Picture: PA

Police have also said a man set on fire on Monday remains in a critical condition, and are appealing for information on who was responsible.

Pro-democracy activists reportedly set fire to an apparent government supporter, and a protester was shot by police and activists.

Since June pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets demanding free elections, Ms Lam’s resignation and the release of protesters from jail.

The Times reported that over 260 people were arrested yesterday, bringing the total to 3,300. The Financial Times reported that 128 people were hospitalised after Monday’s clashes.

Students with gas masks stand watch behind barricades after a faced-off with riot police at the Chinese University in Hong Kong
Students with gas masks stand watch behind barricades after a faced-off with riot police at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. Picture: PA

Comments

Loading...