Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta (Nov 4). A weekend of chaotic clashes between protesters and police officer occurred at several shopping malls in Hong Kong on Sunday Nov 3, 2019.
Riot police were deployed in several shopping malls across Hong Kong after hundreds of people heeded an online call to take to the streets on Sunday afternoon in an unlawful citywide protest.
Police also entered malls in the New Territories towns of Sha Tin and Tai Po. The actions came after protesters damaged turnstiles at Sha Tin MTR station, threw objects at police and vandalized a restaurant in Tai Po.
Cityplaza, packed with families and children in the eastern suburb of Taikoo Shing, also stormed by the riot police. Protesters there had initially formed a peaceful human chain before facing off with police in skirmishes up and down escalators and spraying graffiti on a restaurant.
A man with a knife slashed several people and apparently bit off part of the ear of a politician Andrew Chiu Ka-yin. The district councilor is recovering on Monday after an overnight operation. Surgeons have reconstructed his ear after part of it was bitten off by the suspect, who was heard speaking Mandarin, and was then beaten by an angry crowd before he was arrested.
A student at Shue Yan University was hit by a tear gas canister in Wan Chai on Saturday and suffered a severe burn. He volunteered at the really as he is qualified St John Ambulance first aider. He is studying psychology and counseling at the university.
A student at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology reportedly fell from the third to second floor of a car park in Tseung Kwan O while fleeing tear gas fired during clashes between protesters and police.
Sources said the student was in a critical condition and a brain scan had shown internal bleeding. The student underwent emergency surgery on Monday and would need a second operation.
The fall happened during a confrontation between police and protesters which began on Sunday night, and saw more than 200 people still in the district at around 2am. Protesters set fires and built barricades on roads, prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds.
When the cause of the fall was not known, the video footage and photographs were gathered to try and determine why the man fell. The man was unconscious when he was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Kowloon.
The city’s Hospital Authority said three people were in critical condition, with another in serious condition, among a total of 30 injuries from Sunday.
Twelve police officers were also injured during weekend clashes, with more than 300 people ranging from 14 to 54 years of age arrested between Friday and Sunday, police said.
The Protests Have Divided Society in Hong Kong
While Hong Kong and its many businesses function normally during the week, many protests have sprung up spontaneously at weekends over the past five months.
With the police coming in for particular scrutiny, the protests have undermined the Asian financial hub’s economy.
The protesters vandalized state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday and other buildings including an outlet of US coffee chain Starbucks.
The city’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club expressed grave concern at the attack on Xinhua, stating that news organizations and journalists must be able to work in Hong Kong free from fear of attack and intimidation.
Mainland businesses, including banks or companies seen as supportive of China’s ruling Communist Party, have been targeted by protesters angered by China’s perceived meddling with Hong Kong’s freedoms since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
In a statement, police condemned the “rioters’ violent and vandalistic acts” and vowed measures for public safety.
Meanwhile, further demonstrations are planned this week as protesters keep up pressure for demands such as an independent inquiry into police behavior and the adoption of universal suffrage.
Protesters have circulated plans on social media to mark Guy Fawkes Day on Nov 5 by wear on banned face masks in areas around Hong Kong.
Many people taking to the streets in recent weeks have worn the white smiling Guy Fawkes masks, made popular by anti-establishment hackers and by the film V for Vendetta.
Guy Fawkes mask has been adopted as a symbol of protest around the world. On the other hand, Guy Fawkes was the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. The plot was an attempt to blow up the House of Lords in London on 5 November 1605, in order to restore a Catholic head of state.