HONG KONG—Conflicts between protesters and police in Hong Kong turned violent after a peaceful parade on Aug. 24.
Despite train stations being shut down, thousands of protesters gathered to march in the streets of the city’s Kwun Tong district.
Following the parade, a break-off group continued on to gather outside the local police station.
Protesters set up barricades using bamboo poles and metal fences as tensions began to rise.
Police responded by firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. As police moved forward, they were met with a volley of projectiles but managed to push protesters back.
After falling back, protesters constructed more makeshift barricades and held their ground.
“I think we’re going to hold out here in this position for some time but they will push us back eventually,” said Tam, one of the protesters. “I don’t know if they would surround us or flank us from the other direction.
“They’ve done that before so, for now, I think we’re going to stay here for a while,” he said.
Further into the evening, the conflict escalated again after some protesters threw bricks and other objects towards officers from a nearby on-ramp. Police fired multiple rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, causing the group to eventually dissipate.
After an intense altercation and many beanbag rounds, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters being fired, streets were eventually cleared by police.
Protesters are seeking a response from the government to their five demands centered around addressing widespread concerns from Hong Kong’s residents about a proposed government bill that would allow individuals to be extradited to mainland China for trial without prior legal process in Hong Kong. Hong Kongers fear that if the proposed law is passed, it would be abused by the Chinese communist regime to punish and silence its critics or dissidents.
The five demands are that the bill is fully withdrawn by the government; that authorities retract the previous characterizations of protesters as rioters; that arrested protesters are exonerated and released; that an independent inquiry into police use of force is established; and that Hong Kong people are able to directly elect their leader.
“The police have to answer for their brutality during the protests—they have to,” Tam added.
But after almost three months of ongoing protests, many protesters are growing increasingly frustrated by the government’s inability to engage with their concerns.
According to protesters, the protests will continue until the government addresses all five demands from the citizens of Hong Kong.
“Thank you for keeping an eye on Hong Kong and its situation, and thank you for standing with us,” Tam said. “We appreciate it.”