WORLD

Hong Kong police draw guns, arrest 36 from latest protest

Aug 25, 2019, 8:55 PM
Policemen pull out their guns after a confrontation with demonstrators during a protest in Hong Kon...
Policemen pull out their guns after a confrontation with demonstrators during a protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. Hong Kong police have rolled out water cannon trucks for the first time in this summer's pro-democracy protests. The two trucks moved forward with riot officers Sunday evening as they pushed protesters back along a street in the outlying Tsuen Wan district. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police drew their guns and fired a warning shot after protesters attacked officers with sticks and rods, and brought out water cannon trucks for the first time, in an escalation in the summerlong protests that have shaken the city’s government and residents.

Sunday’s main showdown took place on a major drag in the outlying Tsuen Wan district following a protest march that ended in a nearby park. While a large crowd rallied in the park, a group of hard-line protesters took over a main street, strewing bamboo poles on the pavement and lining up orange and white traffic barriers and cones to obstruct police.

After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police. The result was a surreal scene of small fires and scattered paving bricks on the street between the two sides, rising clouds of tear gas and green and blue laser lights pointed by the protesters at the police.

The protesters eventually decided to abandon their position. Two water cannon trucks and a phalanx of police vehicles with flashing lights joined riot police on foot as they advanced up the street. They met little resistance.

Television footage showed a water cannon being fired once, but perhaps more as a test, as it didn’t appear to reach the retreating protesters.

Officers pulled their guns after a group of remaining protesters chased them down a street with sticks and rods, calling them “gangsters.” The officers held up their shields to defend themselves as they retreated. Police said that one officer fell to the ground and six drew their pistols after they were surrounded, with one firing the warning shot.

Some protesters said they’re resorting to violence because the government has not responded to their peaceful demonstrations.

“The escalation you’re seeing now is just a product of our government’s indifference toward the people of Hong Kong,” said Rory Wong, who was at the showdown after the march.

One neighborhood resident, Dong Wong, complained about the tear gas.

“I live on the 15th floor and I can even smell it at home,” he said. “I have four dogs, sneezing, sneezing all day. … The protesters didn’t do anything, they just blocked the road to protect themselves.”

Police said they arrested 36 people, including a 12-year-old, for offenses such as unlawful assembly, possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting police officers.

Earlier Sunday, tens of thousands of umbrella-carrying protesters marched in the rain. Many filled Tsuen Wan Park, the endpoint of the rally, chanting, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

The march in Hong Kong’s New Territories started near the Kwai Fong train station, which has become a focal point for protesters after police used tear gas there earlier this month. Police with riot gear could be seen moving into position along the march route.

Protesters have taken to the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s streets for more than two months. Their demands include democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force to quell the protests.

A large group clashed with police on Saturday after a march in the Kowloon Bay neighborhood, building barricades and setting fires in the streets. Police said they arrested 29 people for various offenses, including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.

The clashes, while not as prolonged or violent as some earlier ones, ended a brief lull in the violence. The protests, which began in early June, had turned largely peaceful the previous weekend, after weeks of escalating violence.

In nearby Macao, another Chinese territory, a pro-Beijing committee chose a businessman as the gambling hub’s next leader with little of the controversy surrounding the government in Hong Kong.

Ho Iat-seng, running unopposed, will succeed current leader Chui Sai-on in December. Asked about the protests in Hong Kong, the 62-year-old Ho said they would end eventually, like a major typhoon.

Protesters in Hong Kong have demanded that the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, also chosen by a pro-Beijing committee, step down, though that demand has evolved into a broader call for fully democratic elections.
___
Associated Press videojournalists Yves Dam Van, Katie Tam and Johnson Lai contributed to this report.

Today’s Top Stories

World

A fighter in a tank in Ukraine....
ANDREA ROSA and JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press

Men, morale, munitions: Russia’s Ukraine war faces long slog

Over the weekend, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned the war could last years and warned of "Ukraine fatigue" abroad.
5 days ago
supermoon photos...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Supermoon delights skygazers around the globe

The moon reached its full stage Tuesday during a phenomenon known as a supermoon because of its proximity to Earth. It's also known as the "Strawberry Moon."
10 days ago
President Joe Biden. He will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia in July....
AAMER MADHANI and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden to visit Israel and ‘pariah’ Saudi Arabia next month

The decision to pay a call on Saudi leaders comes after Biden as a Democratic presidential candidate branded the kingdom a "pariah."
11 days ago
four day work week...
Anna Cooban, CNN Business

The world’s biggest four-day work week pilot begins

During the program, workers will receive 100% of their pay for working only 80% of their usual week.
19 days ago
British veterans Roy Maxwell and Mary Scott arrive in a British Taxi Charity for Military Veterans ...
SYLVIE CORBET and JEFF SCHAEFFER Associated Press

World War II veterans honored a day before D-Day anniversary

A series of commemorations are honoring the nearly 160,000 troops from Britain, the U.S., Canada and elsewhere who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
19 days ago
Smokes raises from a railway service facility hit by a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sun...
JOHN LEICESTER Associated Press

Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on arms

Vladimir Putin warned Sunday that any Western deliveries of longer-range rocket systems would prompt Moscow to hit "objects that we haven't yet struck."
19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Hong Kong police draw guns, arrest 36 from latest protest