10/07/2019, 09.12
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Faces covered, Hong Kong protests enter week 18

by Paul Wang

Tens of thousands have challenged the government's ban. Vandalized shops and branches of banks linked to China. A 12-year-old girl is also arrested. The police enter two universities without the permission of those responsible. The People’s Liberation Army uses police signs.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of people marched yesterday in the streets of central Hong Kong, with their faces covered, challenging the government's ban on using masks to hide their faces (photo 1).

The emergency law was passed on October 4th and implemented at midnight on October 5th. Despite this, for the third consecutive day, and for the 18th week, demonstrators took to the streets wearing surgical masks, carnival masks and even play masks (photo 2).

Despite heavy rain, they paraded through the streets of downtown and Kowloon peacefully until late afternoon. Later, radical fringes took over destroying shop windows and branches of banks linked to China, building barricades, throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen, destroying underground stations (MTR).

The MTR is accused of covering and helping police violence. Services were completely interrupted for a day and a half, to reopen yesterday. But after some stations were taken by assault, services were again blocked until this morning.

The police made a dozen arrests, including a 12-year-old girl. The police also entered the Chinese University and the Baptist University making arrests among the students, without asking any permission from the school leaders.

It should also be noted that yesterday, for the first time, Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers, stationed in Hong Kong, exhibited a yellow sign - similar to the police one - warning the demonstrators who were participating in an illegal action (photo 3).

In Sham Shui Po, a taxi driver drove his car against the crowd of protesters. A group of these stopped and beat him, damaging the vehicle too (photo 4).

Late in the evening, hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in Mong Kok.

According to some, it is important to participate in the marches, because if one does not rebel against the mask ban, the government could impose other emergency laws.

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