Last updated on October 5, 2019
Hong Kong’s whole mass transit railway system was suspended on Saturday after a night of violence triggered by a ban on pro-democracy protesters wearing face masks since the authorities imposed emergency forces not utilized in over half a century.
The ban was aimed at quelling almost four weeks of unrest but rather sparked widespread clashes and promises of defiance, using a 14-year-old boy allegedly shot and injured.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she left the arrangement below the Emergency Regulations Ordinances — a sweeping colonial-era supply which enables her to bypass the legislature and make some legislation in a period of crisis or public hazard.
“We think that the law will make a deterrent effect against hammering violent protesters and rioters, also will aid the authorities” in law enforcement,” Lam said on Friday. Widespread protests instantly broke out over Hong Kong.
Massive crowds of mainly office workers blocked streets in the center of the industrial district. Some protesters tore down pro-China banner ads before clashes erupted through the day. Police used tear gas in numerous places to disperse protesters who’d taken over streets, vandalized metro stations, place road fires and trashed pro-China companies. At the northern district of Yuen Long, a police officer opened fire when he had been surrounded in his vehicle and assaulted by protesters, a gas bomb bursting at his toes.
“A huge group of rioters attacked a plainclothes police officer at Yuen Long district. The police officer dropped onto the floor and has been beaten up by the group. Facing danger to his own life, he fired one shot self-defense,” authorities said in a statement. Additionally in Yuen Long, a teenaged boy has been shot and wounded by a life around, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a health source. It was uncertain if this round was connected to the plainclothes officer who opened fire. Since the town awakened on Saturday, railway services stayed in lockdown — such as the airport — with the railroad operator stating it would check damage to channels before determining when to reopen lines.
“A significant moment has arrived for preventing the violence using a clearer mindset and more effective steps,” he added. Critics stated Lam’s move proved to be a significant step towards authoritarianism for Hong Kong, which was dominated by China under a”one nation, two systems” framework since British colonial rule ended in 1997. “This is a watershed. That is a Rubicon,” pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo stated. “And I am worried this may be only a starter. More draconian bans from the title of legislation could be lurking around the corner” Prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong explained the law”marks the start of the ending of Hong Kong”.
“Ironically, a colonial-era weapon is used from the Hong Kong government and the Chinese Communist Party,” he explained. In the USA, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, where Wong testified last month, also stated that utilizing the emergency forces”won’t handle the grievances underlying four weeks of protests”. The strong US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi individually stated the ban”only voicing concerns regarding freedom of expression”.
After Beijing and neighborhood leaders took a hard line, the demonstrations snowballed into a broader movement calling for much more democratic liberty and police responded.
Throughout those clashes, an officer shot and injured a teenager — the first such shooting because the demonstrations started. The law prohibits anyone wearing masks protests with as much as a year. For those in Friday’s march, the ban wouldn’t fix the town’s woes.
“They do not mind being jailed for ten decades, therefore wearing masks is no problem.”