Police fire teargas as Hong Kong protests ignite

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 3, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

Police fire teargas as Hong Kong protests ignite

Police in riot gear flooded onto the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday in a bid to quell mass protests.

David Doyle reports.

Police fire teargas as Hong Kong protests ignite

Hong Kong police fired tear gas at black-clad activists in what's normally a busy shopping district on Saturday (August 3).

They'd kept out of sight as tens of thousands marched through Kowloon in the afternoon, but after dark they charged onto the streets in riot gear - calling the protest an illegal assembly in the Chinese-controlled territory and warning that force would be used if crowds did not disperse.

Protests, originally against a now-dropped extradition bill, have grown increasingly violent since June, with police accused of using excessive force and failing to protect protesters from suspected gang attacks.

Protesters say they've adopted increasingly sophisticated tactics - described as "hit and run" and "being like water", echoing a saying from Hong Kong martial arts legend Bruce Lee.

On Saturday the water brought fire.

This blaze on the steps of a police station where vehicles were also damaged.

Others in the city though gathering to support police.

Across the harbor from the protests, thousands gathered - mostly dressed in white, and waving Hong Kong and Chinese flags.

This organizer says it was to tell activists violence isn't the only way.

The protests have posed one of the gravest popular challenges to Chinese rule, and more are planned for Sunday (August 4) -- as well as a mass strike on Monday (August 5).

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