Hit-and-run tunnel attack

Top News | Cindy Wan and Phoenix Un 5 Aug 2019

Protesters avoided arrest in a hit-and-run attack on the Cross Harbour Tunnel as thousands of people marched through Hong Kong Island West causing several flash points last night.

They placed makeshift barricades on major roads - including Gloucester Road and Hennessy Road - and paralyzed traffic coming in and out of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel from 8.50pm to 9.15pm.

About 10 protesters went to Golden Bauhinia Square where they sprayed black slogans - including "God eliminated Communist Party" and "Reclaim Hong Kong" - on the sculpture's stand.

Protesters returned to Causeway Bay, placing rubbish bins in the middle of Percival Street, filled them with wood and set them alight in an attempt to slow the police advance.

At about 10pm, reinforcements were summoned to Wong Tai Sin, where severe clashes occurred on Saturday night.

Many protesters responded by taking the MTR to Wong Tai Sin but changed their minds when faced by a heavy police presence and headed to Kwun Tong.

They set up barricades on Lei Yue Mun Road, blocking traffic to Ngau Tau Kok and were confronted by anti-riot police from Kwun Tong police station. They then retreated down the road.

At almost the same time, about 200 protesters occupied a section of Po Shun Road in Tseung Kwan O where tens of thousands rallied earlier in the day. They dispersed after 10.30pm.

Police earlier approved a rally inside Belcher Park in Kennedy Town instead of the planned march route from Forbes Temporary Playground to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park.

The 20,000-strong rally started at 5pm with acting president of the University of Hong Kong Students' Union Davin Wong saying that current social activism did not need a leader.

About half the shops near Belcher Bay Park were closed, but most restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, convenience stores and shops selling other daily necessities remained open.

A butcher on Belcher Street said sales had increased because many residents bought food early to avoid the crowds in the evening.

As protesters walked eastward, they occupied Des Voeux Road West and were approaching the liaison office, when they were tackled by riot police. Officers raised the black flag warning of tear gas and, in less than a minute, police fired tear gas on Queen's Road West.

Protesters then headed by MTR to Causeway Bay. They soon occupied the junction of Hennessy Road and Yee Wo Street outside Sogo department store and built barricades with fences.

Protesters then turned west again to Gloucester Road and set up roadblocks, while causing chaos at the Cross Harbour Tunnel.

The government issued a statement at 9pm saying protesters had seriously paralyzed traffic and affected emergency services by blocking the roads and tunnel.

A group of protesters told The Standard that the protests must go on to "rescue" those who have been arrested. "We can save them [forcing their release] if we win," one masked protester said.

Asked why protesters changed sites spontaneously, he said it was pointless to directly clash with the police and that the streets were wider in Causeway Bay.

More reports:

Cops hold back as brick hurlers smash police station windows

Flag incident raises chorus of outrage

Residents wearing slippers back protesters in clashes

Violence 'ramps up recession risk'

Filipino dancer and Korean worker among 20 arrested



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