In Hong Kong, protesters from the democracy movement clashed again with police on Saturday. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse small groups of violent protesters who had erected barricades in Tuen Mun Tsan town in northwestern Hong Kong. Many demonstrators were arrested.
The demonstration in Tuen Mun near the border with mainland China had begun peacefully at first. In front of a government building, a small group of demonstrators ripped down a Chinese flag and burned it. Tensions increased rapidly after a police task force stormed a park where many protesters were gathering. There were a number of arrests.
Hundreds of activists then erected barricades and tore down fences to equip themselves with homemade truncheons. Objects were thrown on nearby railroad tracks. When the police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets, the demonstrators retreated quickly. In the evening, small groups of demonstrators and police delivered a cat-and-mouse game.
At the same time, pro-Chinese groups have started to tear down the Lennon Walls in Hong Kong, a creative and peaceful protest form of the democracy movement. The walls served to make appointments in the city using Post-It, to write satirical comments, or to attach pictures and posters.
Hong Kong pro-Hong Kong MP Junius Ho had previously called to tear all the rubbish off the walls and to clean the city. Pictures on Twitter show how the police seemed to protect the demolition action.
The protests in Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region, which have been going on for more than three months, initially contravened a planned law that included rendition of suspects to mainland China. Under pressure from the demonstrators, the Hong Kong government completely withdrew the law.
Meanwhile, however, the protests are generally directed against the Beijing-loyal leadership and the curtailment of civil rights. Protesters call for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, an independent investigation into police violence, an amnesty for the detainees and free elections. Recently there were repeated violent clashes between the police and the demonstrators.