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Police, Protesters Face off in Renewed Clashes in Hong Kong

The 5-month-old anti-government movement took an increasingly violent turn on Tuesday, 12 November.

Published
World
2 min read
Police fired tear gas at protesters who littered streets with bricks and disrupted morning commutes. 
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Protesters in Hong Kong battled police on multiple fronts on Tuesday, 12 November, from major disruptions during the morning rush hour to a late-night standoff at a prominent university, as the 5-month-old anti-government movement takes an increasingly violent turn.

Gasoline bombs and fires lit up the night at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, while police massed for a possible clearing action with a water cannon truck.

It was the second straight day of weekday protests and followed an especially violent day Monday in which police shot one protester and a man was set on fire.

Protesters Block Commuter Rail System

As on Monday, 11 November the day began with protesters shutting down parts of the commuter rail system and blocking roads. Some people took more than two hours to get to work, while others stayed home.

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Bus tires were punctured and debris thrown on railway tracks. Police fired tear gas at protesters who littered roadways with bricks and anything else they could get their hands on — even merchandise still wrapped in plastic and tossed out from boxes.

Commuters got off one stopped train and were escorted on foot along the tracks.

Blocking Transport a Very Selfish Act, Says Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, speaking to news media 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."

Many office workers turned out in support of the protesters, who rallied for a second day on Pedder Street in Central, a business and high-end shopping district.

Many office workers turned out in support of the protesters, who rallied for a second day on Pedder Street in Central, a business and high-end shopping district.

A few thousand people took over several blocks, chanting "Five demands, not one less" while holding up one hand with five outstretched fingers. Their demands include democratic changes and an independent investigation of police treatment of protesters.

Police Used Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters

Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters and onlookers who were hurling abuse at the officers. At least one person was injured when he was struck on the head by a tear gas canister. But protesters returned by evening and were again blocking roads with bricks and commandeered buses.

Protests ebbed and flowed all day at several universities. Classes were canceled, and clashes were particularly intense at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Scores of officers charged onto the campus after firing tear gas, arresting student protesters who tried to block their way with makeshift barricades, including a burning car.

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