Protests in hong kong have again seen heavy clashes between police and demonstrators. Officials used tran gas over the weekend and pushed back protesters who had set up barricades on the street.
Protesters threw bottles, incendiary devices and stones at police officers. In addition, both sides fought with baseball bats and batons.
For the first time on sunday, officers also used two water cannons. A district council observer reported that a police officer fired his gun into the air after several protesters surrounded him.
The new riots were the first in hong kong since serious clashes broke out at the city's airport two weeks ago. Since then, the protest has developed in a more peaceful direction. Tens of thousands of people took part in a chain of lights through the city on friday. Protesters also displayed the flags of germany and other countries to show their gratitude for international support.
The demonstrations had begun on 9. Started in june and have now lasted eleven weeks. The criticism was initially directed against a law – now shelved – that had allowed extraditions to china and had been introduced by hong kong's pro-chinese head of government, carrie lam.
Saturday's tensions erupted after an initially peaceful march with thousands of participants in the district of kwun tong. The demonstrators had chosen the area for their protest because kwun tong is, according to them, the first district in hong kong to use so-called intelligent surveillance cameras.
There are fears among protesters that the technology could be used to persecute democracy activists. Hong kong media reported that protesters destroyed a mast carrying the new surveillance technology. Police arrested 29 demonstrators during the riots.
Despite heavy rain, thousands of demonstrators continued to march through the streets on sunday, building barricades and attacking security forces, some of them armed with sticks. Police used tranengas, again stones and arson flew.
On saturday, head of government lam said on facebook that she had met with a "group of people" to discuss how to initiate a dialogue. The meeting was attended by 19 top business leaders and politicians, the hongkong newspaper south china morning post reported, citing several sources. More than half of those present were said to have advised lam to show more willingness to compromise with the protesters. They had called on lam to launch an independent investigation into police violence during the protests and to formally withdraw the extradition law. Both are core demands of the protest movement.
Hong kong's subway operator also drew criticism from the protest movement over the weekend, saying it did not want to hold any more trains at the surrounding stations before the start of the announced march. This made it difficult for protesters, who accused the railroad company of acting under pressure from beijing, to travel to the meeting.
Meanwhile, an employee of the british consulate in hong kong who was detained in china has been released. Police in the south chinese city of shenzhen said the 15-day "administrative detention" for simon cheng expired on saturday. Cheng was then able to return to hong kong. According to his family, the 28-year-old was killed on 8. August disappeared on the border between china and hong kong on the way home to the special administrative zone. According to the statement, he had attended an economic meeting in shenzhen in southeast china.
Only when the case became public last week did the chinese ministry of agriculture announce that cheng had been arrested for violating public safety laws. Later, the state-run newspaper global times reported that cheng had allegedly met with a prostitute. However, this could not be confirmed from the official side. Hong kong protest movement saw it as an attempt to discredit him.
Beijing has repeatedly warned britain and other states against interfering in the hong kong conflict.
The metropolis of millions has been part of china again since the british withdrew in 1997. As a special administrative zone, hongkong is guaranteed extensive special rights until 2047. But now many residents fear for them. Chinese security forces were massed on the border with Hong Kong.