Red shirts clash with protesters in North Point

Top News | Phoenix Un and Stella Wong 12 Aug 2019

More than 100 men wearing red T-shirts supporting Fujian residents attacked protesters and reporters in several clashes in North Point, despite heavy police presence.

Anti-fugitive bill protesters attended a legal assembly at Victoria Park yesterday before proceeding to Wan Chai and parts of Causeway Bay.

It was thought North Point would be spared, but fights instigated by the red-shirted men - there were about 100 in T-shirts with "Fujian" and national flag stickers on their clothes - with protesters ensued throughout the day and into the night.

Several hundred of the mostly middle-aged men, some speaking Fujianese to each other, had assembled in groups of seven or eight on King's Road, North Point from yesterday morning. Some waved national flags.

They were monitored by hundreds of police along King's Road, with some officers focusing on specific targets such as a big group outside the Foo Lum Palace restaurant.

At 7.40pm, 10 men pounced on a man wearing black, kicking and pushing him on to the ground. He was led away by police bleeding from the mouth.

The 10 men also shouted at media not to film them. One seized the tripod of a Stand News reporter to hit a RTHK reporter. And a Ming Pao reporter was punched in the face.

At around 9pm, Jocelyn Chau, a community officer working for City Garden residents, was arrested by police after filming confrontations.

At 10pm, protesters besieged Quarry Bay MTR station, where riot police were on alert.

Various other fights had already occurred including one when legislator Lau Siu-lai arrived in a car. She left soon after.

At one point, an expatriate man stood on Kam Ping Road holding a banner saying "100 percent Freedom" in Chinese. Some men attempted to rush at him, but the man was escorted away by police.

At 6pm, four men punched reporters. Three escaped while one was apprehended by police.

About half the shops on King's Road were closed.

Tang, who runs a mobile phone shop that did not close in the afternoon, said: "I pay close attention to Telegram and Lihkg, and I'll close up once tear gas is used."

"I am worried that the police will let the white-shirted people go. North Point is a mingling of good and evil, with a high number of establishment supporters."

A Fujian man, who did not give his name, warned that protesters should go to North Point.

Elsewhere, protesters started occupying Hennessy Road near the Sogo department store in Causeway Bay at 4.30pm and set up road blocks.

And at 5.30pm a group of protesters arrived at Golden Bauhinia Square and sprayed slogans.

Then 30 minutes later, a group arrived at the intersection of Fenwick Street and Lockhart Road in Wan Chai and set up road blocks near the police headquarters.

Tear gas was fired after some protesters threw petrol bombs and aimed laser beams at officers at the junction of Hennessy Road and Fenwick Street. And several rounds of tear gas were fired outside Southorn Playground.

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