HK riots go on rampage
Scores injured by violent black-clad protesters around city
Published: Sep 15, 2019 07:58 PM Updated: Sep 15, 2019 11:27 PM

Mess left by radical Hong Kong protesters outside Wan Chai MTR station. Photo: Li Qiaoyi/GT

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government strongly condemned the violent acts on Sunday, saying the violence put ordinary people in danger and leading the city into lawlessness.

Months-long social unrest have been limited to minor skirmishes in different neighborhoods in Hong Kong, and between radical anti-government protesters and people who hold different political views. On Sunday, such conflicts spread to North Point, Fortress Hill, Causeway Bay and Admiralty on Sunday. Several people were attacked and beaten up, and some suffered serious injury.

Hong Kong Hospital Authority said they treated eight people who were attacked in Sunday's illegal march, but no one was reportedly killed.

A middle-aged man in a blue shirt was beaten by a group of black-clad rioters on Sunday afternoon during the anti-government march in the city. 

The victim is now conscious and in stable condition. He suffered facial fractures, said police.

The victim, a waiter, saw some protesters raising the Japanese flags and UK flags and shouted "national traitor" at them. The protesters then beat him up. 

The unauthorized march began around 2 pm on Sunday. When the rioters passed Gloucester Road and Marsh Road, they encountered the man around 5 pm who shouted, "Love China, I'm Chinese," video circulating online shows. The rioters then confronted the man, and ended up beating him hard with umbrellas and other hard objects. 

After several seconds, the man was beaten to the ground, and the rioters fled.

The HKSAR government severely condemns the violent acts which totally disregard law and order. In the face of the violent confrontations of the radical protesters, the police conducted dispersal operations and made arrests in a resolute manner, protecting the safety of members of the public and restoring public order.

A government spokesperson  reiterated that violence is definitely not a solution to problems but would only harm the entire community. 

The incidents took place after black-clad anti-government rioters confronted groups of pro-establishment supporters, known as "blue ribbons," during the weekend. People holding different political views attacked each other verbally and physically, and dozens of residents were hurt at Amoy Plaza in Ngau Tau Kok on Saturday, after a spat between pro-establishment groups and anti-government groups.

What's shocking is that some protesters praised Sunday's violence as "textbook-level" on Telegram, a social network they widely use for communication in assemblies, and urged them to carry on the spirit. 

"Don't need to go fatal, just severe injury will do,"they said.

Protests go on rampage 

Except those skirmishes, the protesters also defied a police ban on Sunday afternoon to march from the busy shopping hub of Causeway Bay to Central, as radical groups smashed facilities at several MTR stations. 

At around 2 pm, protesters gathered in Causeway Bay and blocked the roadway at Hennessy Road and "participated in an unauthorized assembly," Hong Kong police warned on Sunday afternoon. The police called the rally "illegal" and urged people at the scene to leave as soon as possible.

Many malls, including Lee Gardens and SOGO, along with stores in the area closed early. Shoppers in Lee Garden told the media that the mall asked them to leave in 10 minutes and that the sudden shutdown had "inconvenienced" them.  

Some protesters committed arson at several places in Central and Admiralty. A small group of protesters set several banners - celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) which falls on October 1 and a Chinese national flag - on fire. 

Protesters also vandalized MTR facilities in some MTR stations. In Wan Chai station, glass panes were broken and a closed circuit television in the station was smashed. They blocked the exit of Admiralty MTR station with water-filled barriers. 

The MTR Corporation said in a statement on Sunday it strongly condemns and expresses deep regret over malicious vandalism at a number of MTR stations, arson at an entrance/exit of Wan Chai Station the hurling of petrol bombs into Wan Chai and Causeway Bay stations and serious damage.

A group of protesters then proceeded to the government complex, setting up barricades outside and threw Molotov cocktails and bricks into the building.

After the protesters and the police engaged in a standoff, protesters started throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. The police responded with tear gas and used water cannon to disperse them. Protesters even set the water cannon on fire, but the fire was soon put out.

Local residents in Hong Kong clean up anti-government posters on the walls near the Cheung Sha Wan station in Hong Kong on Sunday morning.

'Clean-up' campaign

The past weekend marked the 15th consecutive week of protests in the city. A Global Times reporter at the site of the protest noticed that the number of black-clad frontliners was fewer than in previous weekends.

As China was observing the Mid-Autumn Day festival holiday over the past three days, patriotic residents in Hong Kong staged various activities in response to the city's ongoing protests.

Dozens of local residents removed anti-government posters, graffiti and curse words on the walls near Cheung Sha Wan station on Sunday morning. 

"Minor clashes erupted between people holding opposite political views in different neighborhoods. We hope to do something to help Hong Kong restore peace and help spread positive energy," said Ko Chung Kit Jacky, one of the organizers of the clean-up campaign.

Patriotic groups were also seen cleaning Lennon Wall message boards on Saturday in other areas, including Kowloon Bay, Fortress Hill, Hang Hau and Tiu Keng Leng. 

A number of people wearing light blue shirts with "I love police" on them helped clean the Lennon Wall in Fortress Hill while holding Chinese national flags and the HKSAR flags and singing the Chinese national anthem.