Tear gas, water cannon deployed at Tsim Sha Tsui - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Tear gas, water cannon deployed at Tsim Sha Tsui

2019-10-20 HKT 14:27
Share this story facebook
  • Tear gas, water cannon deployed at Tsim Sha Tsui
  • A Bank of China branch was vandalised in Yau Ma Tei. Photo: RTHK
    A Bank of China branch was vandalised in Yau Ma Tei. Photo: RTHK
  • A Yoshinoya outlet was also targeted by protesters. Photo: RTHK
    A Yoshinoya outlet was also targeted by protesters. Photo: RTHK
Police have fired tear gas at protesters massing outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station as an illegal march attracting tens of thousands of people turned violent.

They also used water cannon on the crowd shortly after 4pm, while police at Mong Kok Police Station also deployed tear gas against protesters.

Reports from the scene say several journalists were hurt during the police clearance action outside Tsim Sha Tsui police station, suffering leg injuries. In an announcement broadcast from the station, officers accused journalists of obstructing police and demanded that they leave.

The protesters also took over major roads in Tsim Sha Tsui to protest against the mask ban and call for reform of the police force, but the police started clearing the road of barricades after 4pm.

Earlier in the afternoon, the crowds blocked all the lanes on Nathan Road, and stretched at least as far as Mong Kok. with many wearing black shirts, face masks and holding umbrellas.

They took different routes, marching on Nathan Road and Canton Road, towards the West Kowloon high-speed terminus.

"I can't really condone the violence. I don't like that side of things - but I can see how the actions of police have driven people to become more violent," said Chris, a protester who was marching with his wife and three young children.

"Maybe they're trying to defend themselves at times but it's really inflamed the situation. I actually think the police are more culpable for that; they've been trained, they should have the right mindset...they shouldn't be lashing out at people," he added.

He said the anti-mask ban has only inflamed the situation.

Outside Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, some south Asians gave out bottles of water to marchers, amid fears that the building might be targeted after an assault on activist Jimmy Sham last week, and called called for tolerance.

Some protesters emptied water from barriers near the Xiqu Centre, and another group threw faeces into a Yoshinoya branch which has been targeted in recent months by protesters because of its stance.

A Bank of China branch in Yau Ma Tei was also vandalised.

Outside Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, glass panels and CCTV cameras were vandalised, and the railway company says some of its stations were petrol bombed.

Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui East stations are closed and trains aren't stopping at Mong Kok station, which has been firebombed.

The MTR closed Austin and Tsim Sha Tsui stations at midday ahead of the march, citing safety reasons.

The MTR also said earlier that most train services, will end at 10 o'clock tonight to allow more time for repairs, following vandalism in recent weeks.
______________________________
Last updated: 2019-10-20 HKT 16:49