t was yet another eventful and chaotic weekend in Hong Kong with protesters and police clashing, this time inside of a luxury shopping mall out in the suburbs.
On Sunday, a day of mostly peaceful protests in Sha Tin in the city’s New Terrorities turned extremely ugly at around 10 pm with riot police charging into the New Town Plaza mall, using pepper spray and batons to disperse demonstrators.
At first, however, the protesters stood their ground, hurling plastic water bottles and umbrellas at the advancing police from higher floors, surrounding and outnumbering them.
— Damon Pang (@damon_pang) July 14, 2019
Completely unreal scenes from inside of the New Town Plaza shopping mall as riot police charge at protestors inside, who respond by throwing umbrellas and other implements at police – pepper spray then out in full force as protestors are literally forced into Sha Tin MTR station. pic.twitter.com/qM7FhbLBHM
— Jack Hazlewood (@JackHHazlewood) July 14, 2019
Crazy that riot police have taken over New World Plaza, a mall I frequent w/ my grandmother. Protesters are actively fighting back (throwing umbrellas/helmets), forcing them to retreat. A protester places himself between projectiles and police to let them retreat. pic.twitter.com/ka69JGItH7
— Larry Au (@larryau) July 14, 2019
Shocking video from the scene evens shows protesters beating up one police officer who was kicked to the floor with a reporter then jumping in to save the officer, lying on top of the cop to protect him.
— Xinqi Su (@XScmp) July 14, 2019
#HongKong riot police clear protesters in mall: https://t.co/4apMI9xeGy During the mayhem, a plainclothes police officer was filmed being beaten by protesters as a reporter tried to protect him. pic.twitter.com/47bCpsg6B3
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) July 14, 2019
Soon, more police arrived and advanced up the escalators to drive away the protesters, leaving behind a striking scene of blood and broken umbrellas.
— Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) July 14, 2019
— Dave Coulson (@cheesindave) July 14, 2019
Sunday’s protests marked the sixth straight week of demonstrations in Hong Kong against a controversial extradition bill which would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.
Recently, these protests have shifted from their customary staging points on Hong Kong Island to the parts of the city across the Victoria Harbor near to the mainland border.
Organizers claim that 115,000 people took part in Sunday’s march in Sha Tin while police put the number at only 28,000.
In the afternoon, a small group of protesters started setting up makeshift barricades in the street and throwing objects at police, leading to riot police eventually driving the demonstrators from the streets… and into the New Town Plaza shopping mall where they also blocked the metro, giving the protesters nowhere to go.
This is just the front of today’s protest in Sha Tin, a residential district in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/iljkw35o71
— Julia Hollingsworth (@juliaholli) July 14, 2019
The once again massive protest in #HongKong today is in full view of one of the city's busiest shopping malls, and in an area that hasn't been a usual backdrop for demonstrations. Some are seeing a protest for the first time. #Shatin #AntiELABMarch 4:40 p.m. – July 14, 2019. pic.twitter.com/6WSDYNZofS
— Natasha Khan (@natashakhanhk) July 14, 2019
On Monday, police commissioner Stephen Lo announced that more than 40 protesters had been arrested following Sunday’s clashes which also resulted in 11 police officers being injured including two who lost fingers.
It’s been reported that at least 22 protesters were also injured in the skirmishes with three in serious condition.
While Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam declared that the extradition bill was “dead” last week, that has failed to satisfy protesters who have called for Lam to formally withdraw the bill and meet their other demands which includes an independent inquiry into police violence, the release of arrested protesters, and her own resignation.
Lam has said that she supports how police handled the situation on Sunday, charging that the protesters involved could be described as “rioters.”
[Images via HK01]