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Tear gas, rubber bullets stop those fleeing PolyU

2019-11-18 HKT 15:55
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  • Tear gas, rubber bullets stop those fleeing PolyU
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Monday to pin back frantic protesters trying to flee Polytechnic University where hundreds were holed up with petrol bombs and other homemade weapons amid fears of a bloody crackdown.

Dozens, choking on the tear gas, tried to escape again and again from the Polytechnic University after a night of mayhem during which roads were blocked and a bridge was set on fire and a police officer was shot by a bow and arrow.

Many protesters, dressed in regular clothes and without gas masks, made runs for it, dodging tear gas canisters and sponge grenades, only to be forced back inside.

Some were arrested, tackled to the ground, as others scrambled and tripped over barricades and fences as police pointed guns at them and threw punches. Some were pulled back into campus by other protesters.

“The police might not storm the campus but it seems like they are trying to catch people as they attempt to run,” Democratic lawmaker Hui Chi-fung told Reuters.

“It’s not optimistic now. They might all be arrested on campus. Lawmakers and school management are trying to liaise with the police but failed.”

Police were putting up barricades of their own to keep the protesters in one place. Earlier, they had urged the protesters to “drop their weapons” and leave through a designated route.

“We’ve been trapped here for too long. We need all Hongkongers to know we need help,” said Dan, a 19-year-old protester on the campus, as he burst into tears.“I don’t know how much longer we can go on like this. We may need international help.” (Refinitiv)