News Alerts

31 Oct 2019 | 04:35 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Police fire tear gas at protesters in Central, Mong Kok October 31 /update 140

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Central and Mong Kok October 31; further demonstrations planned for November 2-9

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/31/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/9/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Central, Mong Kok, Causeway Bay

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Event

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Central and Mong Kok on Thursday, October 31. Hundreds of masked protesters gathered in the streets of Lan Kwai Fong, a popular nightlife district in Central, on Thursday evening (local time) before police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. In Mong Kok, protesters held demonstrations outside the Prince Edward MTR station, the Mong Kok police station, and the Mong Kok MTR station. Security forces used tear gas along Mong Kok's Nathan Road to disperse the demonstrators.

On Saturday, November 2, a large rally is expected to take place at 15:00 in Victoria Park (Causeway Bay). Activists have also called for a demonstration on Saturday, November 9, to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Participants plan to gather at 15:00 at Edinburgh Place (Central), where they are due to rally while building and eventually tearing down a wall until 21:30.

Demonstrations are expected to continue over the near term and may occur with little warning. Rail disruptions are expected in the coming days and weeks. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.

A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Context

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests of up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.

Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.

 

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