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Police brace for violence as illegal protesters gather on HK streets

By Chen Qingqing, Wang Wenwen in Hong Kong and Zhang Hui, Cao Siqi in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/31 15:25:57 Last Updated: 2019/8/31 18:49:19

A radical protester in Hong Kong Photo: AFP



Hong Kong police use water cannons to disperse illegal rallies for the first time on Sunday in Tsuen Wan. Water was fired toward barricades and the open space without targeting protesters. Photo: Cui Meng/GT



Despite Hong Kong police's objection to a march organized by the opposition group, rioters brazenly flouted the law and order by inciting protesters and vowing to stage a large-scale demonstration on Hong Kong Island on Saturday. The radical protesters published a detailed plan encouraging the use of hazardous weapons to counter the police. 

In response, Hong Kong police alerted residents to mind their safety and deployed more than 5,000 police personnel and water cannons and armored vehicles to deal with violent situations.

According to inputs from the police intelligence, there's a high likelihood of the radical protesters using offensive weapons like corrosives, petrol bombs, flash bang and excrement and odd smelling objects. They might use drones to cause dust explosion. The anti-government protesters are leading the city into the 13th straight week of protest, which is likely to escalate into extreme violence.

Since Saturday morning messages were circulating on messaging platforms such as Telegram and LIHKG that incited the radical protesters to congregate on the streets. 

"This is the endgame for us," said a protester on Telegram. "Fight or die," said another one. 

 
According to a report on Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily on Saturday, some violent protesters who claimed to be "valiant" have released strategies against police on their online social media platform. For example, when encountering police officers who are not wearing gas masks, they may consider an ambush using long bamboos and water pipe to attack them on their neck, mouth and eyes.

Some protesters also discussed the use of weapons, which include molotov cocktail, oil paint, oil, liquid detergent, and ink. Dirt, bricks, gravel, smoke, laser, plastic wrap, pepper and chili powder and bullet made of feces and kitchen garbage are also included. 

According to Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper, protesters are trying to make more powerful and destructive firebombs by referring to foreign videos online. At the same time, they are planning to use remote-controlled drones to fire Molotov cocktails directly at buildings or police officers.

Also, they were preparing an escape route and identifying in advance the dangerous positions, safe house, material warehouse and the ambush point (to ambush police) near the demonstration areas. They were seen commenting that they have prepared and accumulated more than 100 so-called "warriors," including those who were released on bail.

Flooded with provocative messages, the LIHKG's mobile app experienced a temporary disruption on Saturday morning after its service was allegedly attacked. 

Radical protesters blamed the Hong Kong government for the disruption of the app and called on others to move to an alternative social media platform. 

Anticipating extreme violence, the police objected to Saturday's scheduled rally during which protesters and opposition forces plan to march from Central to the liaison office of the central government in Sai Ying Pun.  

On Saturday noon, water barricades were been set up in major districts such as Admiralty and Central where the Hong Kong police headquarters and office of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government are based. 

In Sai Ying Pun, place of the liaison office of the central government in Hong Kong, residents saw several water barricades being put into place to protect the building. 

Some water cannons were spotted in Hong Kong Island around noon that was heading toward Sai Ying Pun. 

A source close to the police told the Global Times on Saturday that the police will strictly enforce the law and act firmly whenever violence occurs.

Besides, the MTR announced the suspension of services at the Sai Ying Pun at 1:30 pm. Meanwhile, public places like swimming pools and parks nearby have been shut.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Southern Playground around noon, in the name of religious activity. However, the police have reiterated that any public gathering without a letter of non-objection will be deemed offensive. 

Around 1:30 pm, the police officers raised the yellow flag, indicating that the public gathered at the playground are breaching the law, and may be prosecuted. Many black-clad protesters wearing masks were seen on the ground.

The police also raised the yellow flag to warn illegal gathering near the Hong Kong police headquarters in Wan Chai around 2 pm, as groups of people walked out of the playground and marched toward the west.

Tensions are running high as very few residents were seen around areas like Admiralty on Saturday noon.

A university student told the Global Times that he would stay at home all day to ensure his safety.



Posted in: SOCIETY,HK/MACAO/TAIWAN,FOCUS NEWS

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