Police tear gas lunchtime protesters in Central - RTHK
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Police tear gas lunchtime protesters in Central

2019-11-11 HKT 13:10
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  • Police tear gas lunchtime protesters in Central
  • Protesters huddled behind umbrellas on Pedder Street. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters huddled behind umbrellas on Pedder Street. Photo: RTHK
  • Police were out in force in Central. Photo: RTHK
    Police were out in force in Central. Photo: RTHK
  • There was a heavy police presence in Central where police fired tear gas at lunchtime. Photo: RTHK
    There was a heavy police presence in Central where police fired tear gas at lunchtime. Photo: RTHK
Monday morning's chaotic scene in several districts spread to Central by lunchtime, where police fired tear gas at workers demonstrating during their lunch break and others who had just headed out to get something to eat.

Riot officers flooded into the city's financial district, blocking off the junction of Des Voeux Road Central and Pedder Street.

A group of black clad protesters crouched down behind umbrellas and waved a flag saying "Free Hong Kong, revolution now", as police raised various flags warning of action.

Hundreds of other people hurled abuse at the police, calling them "murderers", and prompting officers to fire yet more tear gas.

"I'm not sure why they're here," one woman told RTHK.

Another woman said the police were ignoring the adult protesters and tackling only the young people present, while also pointing out that the demonstration was peaceful and that nobody was carrying any weapons.

"There are many people standing here and screaming at them. They only target kids or youngsters," she said.

A man among the crowd described the large police presence as "absolutely crazy".

"It's unwarranted. Nobody is here for any danger. I think the police are overreacting and it's crazy to have this in Central. Everybody is trying to have their lunch and I can't see any reason that the police have to be fully equipped and try to scare people away," he said.

An ambulance was called for a TVB cameraman who was apparently hit on the hand by a tear gas cannister. He told other journalists that he believed an officer had deliberately fired at him.

By around 3pm, around a thousand people were marching along Queen's Road Central towards Sheung Wan.

Earlier, large crowds of demonstrators had taken to the streets of several districts across the city following calls for a general strike.

The MTR network was severely disrupted, with objects on tracks, a fire reported on a train, and some stations vandalised.

Blocked roads added to problems for people heading to work, with buses stuck in some locations and taxis hard to come by.
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Last updated: 2019-11-11 HKT 14:59