Clashes break out at memorial vigil for dead Hong Kong student

Over 200 people came together to remember Chow Tsz-lok two months after his death. Some shouted slogans like ‘Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times’ and ‘Disband the police now’. The 22-year-old man fell from a car park to escape police. The circumstances of the accident are still unclear.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A vigil in Tseung Kwan O (New Territories) to commemorate the death of a student was interrupted as riot police clashed with protesters.

Officers pepper sprayed the crowd and arrested at least two people, including a district councillor's assistant.

Over 200 people had gathered at the car park where Chow Tsz-lok, a student from the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong, died on 8 November.

Overnight on 3-4 November, the 22-year-old man fell from the third to the second floor of the structure as he fled from police and ongoing clashes. The circumstances of the accident are still unclear.

On 11 December, Hong Kong Christians met in the Chater Garden (central district) for a prayer meeting, demanding justice and truth for the young man.

Two months after his death, those attending the vigil lit candles and placed flowers at a makeshift shrine, whilst observing a minute of silence. Some shouted slogans like ‘Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times’ and ‘Disband the police now’.

Around 10 pm, black-clad protesters obstructed an intersection outside Sheung Tak Plaza, but quickly dispersed after riot police arrived.

In a statement, police claimed that protesters blocked the road by “building barricades with trash and rubbish bins, paralysing traffic in the vicinity.”

Some protesters later set up an umbrella formation near Kwong Ming Court and dug up bricks from the pavement.

Riot police warned people at the scene that they were taking part in an unlawful assembly, and that tear gas may be used.

The confrontation escalated at around 10:30 pm as officers proceeded to make some arrests.

Scattered clashes continued until the early hours of Thursday, as some protesters continued to block roads and damage traffic lights.

The strong police presence also provoked shouting matches between officers and residents in the neighbourhood.

For the past seven months, the former British colony has been the scene of grassroots protests.

In the beginning, protesters expressed widespread dissatisfaction with a controversial extradition bill, which was eventually dropped.

Later, protests morphed into a broad movement demanding democracy for Hong Kong and an independent investigation into alleged police abuse.