Tensions remain high throughout Hong Kong as protesters continue block major roadways on Friday, November 15. On Friday morning (local time), demonstrators announced that two lanes on Tolo Highway in Sha Tin have been reopened as a good well gesture. According to social media posts, as of 12:30 traffic is being allowed on the highway. Protesters threatened to block the highway again if the government does not pledge to hold district council elections as scheduled on Sunday, November 24, within the next 24 hours. The Cross-Harbour Tunnel in Hung Hom also remains blocked with debris gathered by protesters from the nearby Polytechnic University. As of 11:25, service on the MTR East Rail Line between Fo Tan station and Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations has been suspended. Multiple stations remain closed on Friday due to vandalism and other safety concerns. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.
Protesters also remain barricaded at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in Sha Tin and at the Polytechnic University. Bricks and other debris have been placed on roads surrounding the campuses to block vehicles. Students are making petrol bombs at CUHK and have reportedly armed themselves with bows and arrows taken from the school.
Health officials also confirmed on Friday than an elderly man who was hit by a brick on Thursday, November 14, has died. The man was hit in the head during clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.
Further protests may occur with little warning and a heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the political situation in the city 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.
Tension significantly escalated across the territory on November 11, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Later in the day a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire.
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.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, 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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