01 October 2019 17:58
Hong Kong shooting ushers in new phase of conflict between police and protesters On the Chinese mainland this was a day of lavish celebrations - but for anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong it was a "day of grief". Thousands turned out across the city in traditional black. Independent groups with a united goal - to demand greater freedoms from China and embarrass Xi Jinping to boot. 'Toxic' water cannon used in HK Throughout the day, we moved from fight to fight, from the government hub of Hong Kong Island to the Northern Territories, watching as various new clashes broke out. In Sha Tin, we saw groups of young people huddle behind umbrellas as they prized bricks from the pavement to use as weapons against the police.
Advertisement With almost professional speed, they dismantled street railings and strapped them together to create barricades, which brought main highways to a standstill. Image: In China, 70 years of communist rule was celebrated with a military procession, As we moved closer to the front line, we passed fires burning in bins and on the street, until we finally reached the hardcore "braves" facing off with riot police. One group had occupied a balcony from which they lobbed petrol bombs, soda cans, and anything else they could find which would explode in front of the officers below. The police responded with precise, targeted rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas until they cleared the area and pushed the demonstrators back.:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker In Mong Kok, on Kowloon, the atmosphere felt more volatile. Here, black-clad officers charged at protesters, who quickly replied with volleys of petrol bombs. The months of continuous violence have hardened the resolve of both sides - neither is willing to back down. On Hong Kong Island, with tear gas and water cannon, they pushed the huge crowds back, blasting the streets with bright blue jets until they were empty. While much of this action has become a well choreographed game of cat and mouse between demonstrators and authorities, today's shooting of an 18-year-old man by police was a serious escalation. While police say it was self-defence, the act has crossed a line and ushered in a new phase in this conflict. Tomorrow, the protesters will likely rest and regroup, devising a plan of how to avenge such a violent attack on one of their own.