Hong Kong once again erupts into violence

Elias Hubbard
October 21, 2019

Hong Kong has been battered by 20 weeks of pro-democracy protests which have seen millions peacefully take to the streets as well as unrest.

Winnie the Pooh, Guy Fawkes, Pepe the Frog - these are the new faces of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement.

Protesters erected flaming barricades on Nathan Road, a major Kowloon retail strip and threw petrol bombs at a nearby police station.

The dye in the water, used to identify protesters, also contains a painful pepper solution.

The mosque entrance and front gate had been accidentally sprayed, the police said in a statement.

The use of Russian-designed messaging app Telegram by Catalan separatists was "directly" copied from the Hong Kong protests, said a member of Catalan separatist group "Picnic for the Republic" which blocked access to Barcelona's iconic Sagrada Familia basilica on Friday.

One trashed shop on Sunday had protest slogans left on its shutters saying it was attacked because it was owned by mainland Chinese mobs who had attacked innocent people. Several Chinese banks were targeted.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are set for another weekend of civil disobedience as they prepare to hold an unauthorized protest march to press their demands.

The protests pose the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power. It has since widened into a pro-democracy movement.

Police had declared today's march illegal due to concerns over public safety. Protesters, ranging from young students to the elderly, many carrying umbrellas to shield their faces from street surveillance cameras, face arrest.

For the first few hours, the march was peaceful.

At the start of the march, banners reading "Free Hong Kong" stretched across the ground. Other posters read "HongKongers Resist", while graffiti on one wall said "Better Dead than Red". An explosive device was also detonated by police that had been rigged among broken bricks in the middle of a street.

On Saturday police arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a knife attack on a teenager who was stabbed and wounded while he was handing out leaflets.

The protesters' aim was to form human chains extending 40km across Hong Kong by tracing the city's subway system, mimicking a similar event in August. The mosque is Hong Kong's most important Islamic place of worship.

Recent so-called "white terror" attacks have further escalated tensions in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters her government would "actively follow up" on a letter she received from Chan Tong-Kai looking to turn himself in.

Despite a ban on masks, many have yet to stop wearing them.

"You can't ask a city that already has freedom to walk backward".

Sunday's violence comes after Lam's annual policy address last Wednesday failed to address protesters' demands.

Taiwan itself said in May that it would not agree to Chan's transfer if the extradition bill would put Taiwanese citizens at risk of being sent to the mainland.

"Cases like these raise real concerns about whether Apple and other large USA entities will bow to growing Chinese demands rather than lose access to more than a billion Chinese consumers", said the letter sent Friday and co-signed by senators Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden and representatives Mike Gallagher and Tom Malinowski. More than 2,300 people have been arrested.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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