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Hong Kong’s demonstration of 100,000 people has turned bloody, as the police are now using tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to disperse the crowd.
Things have taken a violent turn on the streets of Hong Kong, as the police have used extreme measures to disperse the crowd of demonstrators, in what they’re calling a full-blown riot.
Clashes on the front lines as police use baton and pepper spray.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) 12 June 2019
The government had tried to push ahead with plans to present the amendments to the legislature on Wednesday, despite a weekend protest by hundreds of thousands of people, primarily encompassing the youth and student populace of Hong Kong.
The latest from the Associated Press (AP) is that police are searching some protesters bags as they try to leave the scene. “Scores of protesters were leaving the area Wednesday, some with their hands held high, after police shot tear gas around the besieged city government headquarters near the waterfront,” the agency says.
Stephen Lo, HK’s police commissioner, has defended the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bag rounds against protesters, believing the situation had escalated to “a riot”.
— Adam Ni (@adam_ni) 12 June 2019
According to the AP, HK police in riot gear pushed back protesters who tried to storm past their barricades in order to reach government buildings. Ostensibly, the protests were birthed after a law, which many residents believe will place them in the legal orbit of China (as Hong Kong is currently semi-autonomous, guaranteed the right to retain its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years after the British handover in the dusk of the nineties), with those who oppose the law believe it to signify the erosion of the freer liberties they enjoy in the semi-autonomous state.
— 肥 (@SamuelLau16) 12 June 2019
Lo said police were forced to take action after their cordons around government building came under attack. According to local news outlet RTHK: “He (Lo) said if officers had not taken such actions “protesters would have used metal bars to stab our colleagues”.