Protests fizzle out after another day of chaos - RTHK
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Protests fizzle out after another day of chaos

2019-10-06 HKT 23:05
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  • Protests fizzle out after another day of chaos
  • A woman screams as riot police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Mong Kok. Photo: AFP
    A woman screams as riot police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Mong Kok. Photo: AFP
  • Mong Kok MTR Station wasn't open to the public, but was severely damaged nevertheless. Photo: RTHK
    Mong Kok MTR Station wasn't open to the public, but was severely damaged nevertheless. Photo: RTHK
  • Riot police fire tear gas to clear the streets of Mong Kok. Photo: RTHK
    Riot police fire tear gas to clear the streets of Mong Kok. Photo: RTHK
Hours of violent protests in several parts of the city were mostly petering out late on Sunday night, with only a hardcore group of protesters still on the streets, notably in Mong Kok.

Police had sent a water cannon truck to the scene, where protesters, officers and journalists alike were already drenched thanks to a thunderstorm.

But by now the number of protesters had thinned dramatically from the thousands that had marched earlier in the day, both through Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, many covering their faces with a range of items, in defiance of a new ban on wearing masks at protests.

Violent and chaotic scenes throughout the day had included a taxi driver being seriously beaten in Sham Shui Po after apparently ploughing into a group of protesters, and an RTHK reporter running through a Wan Chai street with his poncho ablaze after being hit by a Molotov cocktail.

Police also dished out severe beatings as they subdued protesters in Wan Chai, while PLA soldiers raised a warning flag at protesters from their barracks in Kowloon Tong.

Most MTR stations in the protest hotspots were already closed before the day's demonstrations began, but they were nevertheless a target once again of the protesters' fury. Several stations were vandalised, with part of Mong Kok Station left under several centimetres of water.

After night fell, police pulled over buses that had travelled into Kowloon via the Cross Harbour Tunnel, boarding them to search through passengers' belongings.

The government, meanwhile, issued a statement condemning the actions of violent "rioters" and accusing them of spreading panic and chaos in society.

The statement said the continued violence demonstrated that Chief Executive Carrie Lam was right to use emergency powers last week to introduce a new law banning masks at protests.

Pro-democracy lawmakers on Sunday afternoon failed to obtain a High Court injunction to overturn the mask ban, but said they were optimistic that the court would allow a judicial review over the matter later this month.