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Yale 62

Hong Kong Heat, Part 3

By Bill Stork UPDATE 7/29/19 (below)

(Ed. note: Bill Stork, our classmate reporter living in Hong Kong, sent this in to us late Sunday, July 28, 2019.)

What follows is a play-by-play account of the Saturday 27 July protest in Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong.

The impetus for the protest was the failure of the police to respond with alacrity to the violence committed the previous weekend by about a hundred triad members, in white shirts, attacking protesters (returning to Yuen Long on the MTR) and about anybody else in reach of their bamboo and steel poles. The Hong Kong government’s Chief Secretary apologized (without informing the police that he was going to do so) about the failure of the Yuen Long police to properly respond.

The original organizer of the protest was not able to secure a ‘letter of no objection’ from the police for his intended protest, and appealed. Four other local Yuen Long residents also filed requests to the police for protest activities. The protests went on without gaining ‘letters of no objection,’ thus making them ‘illegal.’

I was following the developments on a special channel, Hong Kong Open TV, which is sort of a local C-Span. What follows are my accounts delivered to Yale friends in HK who did not find access of that televised encounter. The viewing was enhanced a bit by the TV channel having many cameras established, and often there was a split screen showing action in two different areas. I arrived late to the issue:

5:56pm The protesters have shields and batons, along with wearing yellow construction helmets. Fire truck just arrived. Protesters forcing the police to back up. Tear gas nos

5:57 Protesters taking a new road

5:59 Riot police arrived and advancing

6:00 Tear gas warning flag raised

6:03 Protesters begin to wear ventilator masks

6:05 Only about twenty riot police at a corner where protesters have regrouped in mass. No one moving.

[6:09 Terrible!]

6:14 Protesters setting up metal barricades

6:15 But just let an ambulance go through

6:16 Big press coverage

[6:18 I am watching YouTube]

6:20 I am watching live developments. Protesters bring in those construction barricades and are filling them with water

6:20 Police now marching

6:21 New direction

6:22 Not where barricades erected

6:23 Group of protesters deployed to throw back tear gas bombs

6:26 Protesters look for new road to move on through police lines. Seems well organized

[I am watching live TV now. I see a yellow ambulance]

6:30 Yes, that went by about ten minutes ago. New sirens being heard

[I see lots of tear gas]

6:33 Protesters sprayed water on tear gas

6:34 More police arrived on walkway above and are firing down at crowds below

6:35 Al seems to be ‘watchful waiting’ right now

6:37 Protesters look to find a new area while holding former positions

6:37 This is more exciting than watching cricket!!

6:38 Protester covered surveillance camera

6:40 I see an array of umbrellas in front of metal barricades

6:40 Here comes the police

[Police shooting tear gas]

6:40 Tear gas!!

6:41 Protesters throw back

6:42 Another tear gas warning

6:45 A lot of crowd noise, banging umbrellas on steel barricades

6:46 Close up shots of police in combat gear … many look so young

6:48 Taking protection form those firing up above on footbridge

6:48 Tear gas blowing away quite quickly

6:49 Standstill

6:49 Noise increases

6:49 Police march

6:50 Bricks thrown and they retreat

6:51 More tear gas

6:51 Wind blows back at police

6:52 Warning about rubber bullets being waved

6:54 Police retreat in narrow corridor where overwhelmed. Noise deafening

(time taken for photos)

7:07 Police using walkway above to reposition

7:07 Police moving

7:08 Gas cloud

7:10 White shirt triads arrive

7:17 Police using lasers to target protesters

7:18 Police reform lines

7:18 And march!

7:22 More tear gas warning

7:22 Protesters have decided to move back a bit

7:25 Police seem to regroup

7:25 Big assault!

7:26 Protesters regroup

7:27 More protesters arrive

[Too much violence. TV turned off]

PARTS 1 and 2 of Bill’s coverage are here (on one page).

1 comment to Hong Kong Heat, Part 3

  • Dick Riseling

    Just heard that a general strike has been called for tomorrow, August 5th in Hong Kong. It is expected to be massive. Let’s hope more lives are not added to those already arrested for rioting and may be shipped to the mainland judicial system under the new extradition law.