Hong Kong Protesters Defy Police Ban in Serious Conflicts

  • Demonstrators threw incendiary bombs, and police responded with teargas and water cannons.
  • Protesters targeted vandalism at Chinese-owned businesses in an unapproved march.
  • The U.S. House passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which aims to support the pro-democracy movement.

Despite the government’s ban on marching, tens of thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets to participate in demonstrations Sunday. After two relatively quiet weeks, Sunday’s procession once again featured violent conflicts, putting the serious civil conflict back on display.

Jimmy Sham is a Hong Kong political and LGBT rights activist. He is a leader in the Civil Human Rights Front and a secretary for LGBT rights organisation Rainbow of Hong Kong.

After the demonstrators threw incendiary bombs at police stations, the police responded with tear gas and high-pressure water guns. Subway stations and hundreds of shops were damaged around the route of the parade, which was not approved by the authorities. Some demonstrators dressed in black threw the goods in the store on the street. Some Chinese banks also became targets. The police used heavy vehicles to remove roadblocks set up by demonstrators.

Teargas once more filled the streets of Hong Kong and police fired water cannons, causing a stampede. The main battleground was Nathan Road, Hong Kong’s busiest thoroughfare, in the heart of Kowloon.  The area is popular with tourists who would have struggled to recognize the place.

The vandalism was targeted at Chinese-owned businesses, like a mobile phone provider, a branch that was already boarded up. Metal fences were unscrewed to make barricades. Rocks torn up from sidewalks were scattered across roads.

Once more, police are firing teargas. Slowly, they have been reclaiming this busy thoroughfare, but the firing of teargas is upsetting local people. As a result, another tense confrontation is underway.

The authorities in Hong Kong have banned the marching team from crossing the Tsim Sha Tsui Shopping Centre on the grounds of public safety and escalation of violence. Despite this, a large number of people participated in the demonstrations. The roadblocks set up by the demonstrators have paralyzed the traffic in Kowloon. The police again fired tear gas to try to disperse the demonstrators.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 is a bicameral and bipartisan legislation that reintroduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in light of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill proposal and the ensuing protests against it. The act “directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law.”

In the past few days, two consecutive incidents of violent attacks on pro-democracy activists have caused the wave of protests to heat up again. Jimmy Sham, one of the organizers of the Sunday demonstrations, was hit by several masked men with a hammer and was hospitalized. Yesterday, another 19-year-old demonstrator supporter was stabbed with a knife.

Like the previous parades, some demonstrators held the American flag in their hands. A few days ago, the US House of Representatives passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which aims to support the Hong Kong democratization movement. It has also once again enflamed US-China relations.

Solidarity from the United States?

The draft law stipulates that once Hong Kong’s autonomy is violated, the United States will impose sanctions. In addition, the draft also says that Hong Kong politicians who violate the freedom of Hong Kong people will be subject to sanctions, such as a US ban on entry and freezing of property. The bill needs to be considered by the Senate and signed by the President to take effect.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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