Battleground Hong Kong: Rioters armed with catapults & javelins destroy university campuses & metro stations, clashing with police
Protests in Hong Kong have reached new heights of violence, with bomb-throwing rioters seizing control of university campuses and pushing out police while authorities admit that the riot-ravaged city hangs by a thread.
Demonstrators armed to the teeth with molotov cocktails, javelins, and (in one case, at least) a chainsaw have seized control of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), pushing riot police off the campus on Tuesday night and leaving a shocking amount of destruction in their wake.
Videos and photos posted to social media show the rioters fortifying their position with barricades and setting “huge” fires on the campus. Classes were unsurprisingly canceled at CUHK and other universities around the city, some of which also played host to clashes between the demonstrators – still dubbed ‘pro-democracy activists’ in the media despite the increasing levels of violence on display – and police. On at least one campus, rioters stole sporting equipment including javelins and shot puts and weaponized them.
An attempt at negotiations between the CUHK president and police failed, though reports of why this happened varied depending on the source.
Latest Sum from #CUHK
Riot police back to No 2 Bridge
Students set huge fire right next to a petrol station
Last negotiation between Vice President and students failed as students requested roadblock on Tolo Highway not to be removed. University can’t promise. pic.twitter.com/DNPQA20vx4
— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) November 12, 2019
Flaming barricades are set up at University MTR Station, by CUHK.
The police issued a statement saying they wished to peacefully resolve the problem, and are preparing to retreat, calling on protesters to stop attacking, and not to damage railways.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) November 12, 2019
While many who support the protesters framed the clashes as police entering university campuses unprovoked to terrorize innocent students, or claimed police are not allowed to enter universities, Hong Kong Chief Superintendent Kelvin Kong Wing-cheung said they were merely pursuing violent rioters who had already thrown bricks and molotovs at police.
“Over the past two days, our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
#HKPoliceTerrorists turn CUHK into a battlefield.
The terrorists succeeded to raid shopping malls before, then they’ve been raiding universities today. At last they will raid homes of every single person in HK, if the international community don’t help to stop these terrorists! pic.twitter.com/lNgZoC5UQX
— Demosistō 香港眾志 😷 (@demosisto) November 12, 2019
Police stormed students with a few dozens rounds of teargas at the entrance of Chinese University.
The students fought back, throwing back the tear gas, bricks and also petrol bombs to make the police back down.
— Denise Ho (HOCC) (@hoccgoomusic) November 12, 2019
Rumors swirled on social media that the police were targeting CUHK specifically because it was the site of Hong Kong’s internet exchange, but this was not confirmed.
The destruction was not limited to college campuses – a number of metro stations were forced to close after being attacked by rioters, and demonstrators battled police all over the city, wielding weapons from bricks pried from the road to multiple catapults reported near the city center. Rioters were seen in TV footage dropping large objects from overpasses and nearly hitting drivers below.
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters clashed with riot police in the city’s upmarket business district and on university campuses Tuesday, November 12, extending one of the most violent stretches of unrest seen in more than five months of political chaos. pic.twitter.com/4T1SX8vzLC
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) November 12, 2019
Even mainstream media, typically sympathetic to the protesters, has taken note of the increase in violence, unable to ignore footage of a violent “pro-democracy” mob setting a man on fire after dousing him in petrol. Another protester was shot, allegedly after trying to grab a policeman’s gun.
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