11/02/2019, 13.58
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Hong Kong enters its 22nd weekend of protests with clashes, tear gas, and arrests

by Paul Wang

Unauthorised protests take place in Causeway Bay and Victoria Park. Three rallies are authorised in Tsim Sha Tsui, Edinburgh Place and Chater Garden. Xinhua office was vandalised.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong is bracing for another weekend of chaos, the 22nd since protests broke out against an extradition bill, eventually morphing into a pro-democracy movement and an anti-police brutality campaign.

By Saturday evening, police fired tear gas against protesters, who set up barricades and threw petrol bombs. Dozens of arrests were made.

In the early afternoon hundreds of protesters – many dressed in black and with masks – tried to meet for a banned protest in Causeway Bay to demand international support for Hong Kong’s cause.

Promptly, police began to search those present and remove masks. Scuffles followed. To disperse the crowd, tear gas and water cannons were used. Protesters, who number several thousand, were sent racing through Victoria Park. At least 50 people were arrested (picture 2).

Clashes continued in nearby streets with protesters picking up objects to build barricades, as well as throwing bricks and petrol bombs (picture 3). The office of Xinhua, China’s state news agency, was vandalised, as were two metro rail entrances to Central.

Three other authorised rallies also ended in violence. The first was held in Tsim Sha Tsui to collect humanitarian aid; the second was at Edinburgh Place to ask the help of the international community for Hong Kong (picture 4); and the third was at Chater Garden to make origami paper cranes, a symbol of hope for protesters, especially the younger ones, for what was happening in the city.

Because of tensions at Victoria Park and the movement of protesters towards Chater Garden, police ordered an end to the rallies and told the crowds to disperse. This led to new clashes and arrests.

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