Police fired chemical-laced blue water and tear gas at protesters who lobbed Molotov cocktails outside the Hong Kong government office complex today.
Violence flared anew after thousands of pro-democracy supporters marched through downtown shopping district in defiance of a police ban – the latest expression of a popular revolt that has raged for the last 99 days.
Shops were shut amid fears of renewed violence in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory that has been unsettled by months of protests.
A mixed crowd of hardcore protesters in black and wearing masks, along with families with children, spilled into the roads of the Causeway Bay shopping belt.
Some waved U.S. and British flags, while others carried posters reiterating their calls for democratic reforms.
Police had turned down a request by the Civil Human Rights Front to hold the march but the demonstrators were undeterred, as they have been all summer.
The march disrupted traffic and many shops, including the Sogo department store, closed their doors.
Police sprays anti-government protesters with blue water during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong today
An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong
Riot police charge on a street outside the Central Government Complex at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong today
Hong Kong police guard the entrance to the Causeway Bay MTR train station as pro-democracy supporters surround it
Smoke filed the air as thousands of anti-government protesters marched through downtown Hong Kong today
Police fired water cannons Pro-democracy protesters outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong
Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong in defiance of an order by police prohibiting demonstrations
Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at hardcore pro-democracy protesters hurling rocks and petrol bombs
A pro-democracy protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb at the Central Government Offices today in Hong Kong
Riot police charge on a street outside the Central Government Complex. Pro-democracy protesters have continued demonstrations across Hong Kong
A fire lit by pro-democracy protesters burns next to a MTR train station in the Wanchai district in Hong Kong
Anti-government protesters protect themselves with umbrellas as tear gas is used on them by authorities in Hong Kong today
The rally descended into violence when small groups of hardcore activists – known within the movement as ‘braves’ – attacked the city’s main government complex.
Police fired repeated volleys of tear gas and deployed water cannon trucks after Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown over security barriers surrounding the complex, which has become a frequent flashpoint in the ongoing protests.
Local television networks broadcast footage of protesters tearing down and burning a huge banner celebrating the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China – as well as torching a Chinese flag.
As evening set in, protesters retreated, chased by riot officers and water cannon firing blue-dyed water.
Hong Kong’s summer of rage was sparked by a now-abandoned plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland, a move that prompted millions to hit the streets.
As Beijing and local city leaders doubled down, the protests rapidly snowballed into a much wider anti-government movement.
Pro-democracy protesters wave U.S flags to call on international aid as they gather ahead of today’s march in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy protesters are hit by a water cannon during clashes in Hong Kong today, using umbrellas to protect themselves
The protesters ducked under their umbrellas as they came under heavy water cannon fire during today’s protests
A pro-democracy protester sets fire to a police barrier erected around the Central Government Offices during today’s clashes
Riot police stand guard inside a train station in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong as demonstrations broke out across the city
Riot police block an entrance to a train station in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong as pro-democracy protesters surround it
Two men began fighting during a protest in Hong Kong. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at hardcore pro-democracy protesters hurling rocks and petrol bombs
Riot police hold a warning banner for protesters during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy protesters shielded themselves with umbrellas after police fired tear gas outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong
Masked pro-democracy protesters carry traffic cones during a rally in Hong Kong
Protesters wearing plastic suits, gas masks and helmets gathered on a street in the Wan Chai district in Hong Kong
A man clutched his chest during violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters
Activists used umbrellas to protect themselves after police fired water cannons outside the government headquarters
On Sunday, some demonstrators built barricades, set fires and vandalised subway stations, but the crowds avoided further direct clashes and largely ran away when ranks of police officers got close.
Later in the evening, brawls broke out for the second day running in the districts of Fortress Hill and North Point, the latter a bastion of pro-Beijing sentiment.
Witnesses said a group of Beijing supporters armed with poles and improvised weapons attacked people in Fortress Hill, but were then set upon by a larger crowd of anti-government protesters.
Two men were treated by paramedics for bloody wounds and rushed away in ambulances.
‘They attacked us today and yesterday, so we chased and attacked them,’ a democracy protester, who gave his name as John, said.
The clashes ended a relative lull in recent days in the intensity of skirmishes between police and protesters.
Protersters return tear gas cannisters as riot police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Hong Kong
A man with blood coming out of his mouth was seen lying on the ground after being beaten by a group of people during a protest in the Wan Chai district in Hong Kong
A protester holding a pamphlet while marching during an anti-government rally at the causeway bay in Hong Kong
Hundreds of Hong Kong activists rallied outside the British Consulate for a second time this month, bolstering calls for international support in their months-long protests for democratic reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory
Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, where some waved British flags and sang ‘God Save the Queen’
As the crowd approached the police headquarters nearby, police raised a flag warning that they were participating in an illegal gathering but protesters just shouted slogans and kept walking.
The protests were triggered in June by an extradition bill that many saw as an example of China’s increasing intrusion and a chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms and rights, many of which are not accorded to mainland China.
The government promised this month to withdraw the bill, which would have allowed some criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, but protesters have widened their demands to include direct elections for the city’s leaders and police accountability.
There have been increasing clashes between protesters and Hong Kong’s police, who demonstrators have accused of abuses. More than 1,300 people have been arrested since June.
The unrest has battered Hong Kong’s economy, which was already reeling from the U.S.-China trade war. It is also seen as an embarrassment to China’s ruling Communist Party ahead of Oct. 1 National Day celebrations.
Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of protesters waved British flags, sang ‘God save the Queen’ and chanted ‘U.K. save Hong Kong’ outside the British Consulate as they stepped up calls for international support for their campaign.
Demonstrators in Hong Kong wrote ‘Free HK’ and waved British flags in a protest against the Chinese government’s increasing controls on the semi-autonomous territory
Protesters waving British flags during a peaceful demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong today
An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during a demonstration near Central Government Complex
A protester using a placard to block his face as they participate in a peaceful demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong today
Hundreds of protesters waved British flags and sang ‘God save the Queen’ outside the British Consulate as they stepped up calls for international support for their campaign
An anti-government protester throwing back a tear gas canister at the police demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong
Anti-government protesters protect themselves with umbrellas among tear gas during a demonstration
With banners declaring ‘one country, two systems is dead,’ they repeated calls for Hong Kong’s former colonial ruler to ensure the city’s autonomy is upheld under agreements made when it ceded power to China in 1997.
Demonstrators held similar rallies September 1 at the British facility and last weekend at the U.S. Consulate.
Police also banned a planned Civil Human Rights Front march on Aug. 31, but protesters turned up anyway. Clashes erupted that night, with police storming a subway car and hitting passengers with batons and pepper spray.
On Saturday, pro-democracy protesters and supporters of the central government in Beijing clashed at a shopping mall and several public places. Police arrested more than a dozen people and hospital authorities said 25 were injured.
The clashes amid the mid-autumn festival holiday came after several nights of peaceful rallies that featured protesters belting out a new protest song in mass singing at shopping malls.
Thousands of people also carried lanterns with pro-democracy messages in public areas and formed illuminated human chains on two of the city’s peaks on Friday night to mark the major Chinese festival.
An anti-government protester being sprayed with blue-coloured water by the police during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong
A fire set by protesters burns at an entrance to the Wan Chai MTR subway station in Hong Kong
Some protesters held up placards comparing the Chinese government to the Nazi party