News Alerts

15 Nov 2019 | 05:33 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Transportation disruptions on November 15 ahead of planned weekend protests /update 159

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Demonstrations cause severe transportation disruptions across Hong Kong on November 15; further protests planned November 17

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/15/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/18/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Polytechnic University, Chater Garden

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Event

Demonstrations on Friday, November 15, caused severe transportation disruptions throughout Hong Kong. Protesters notably closed the Tolo Highway in Sha Tin during rush hour after temporarily reopening it on Friday morning (local time). Demonstrations were also reported in Chater Garden and Edinburgh Place (Central) and at Kwai Yi Road Playground in Kwai Fong. The Cross-Harbour Tunnel in Hung Hom also remains blocked with debris gathered by protesters from the nearby Polytechnic University. As of 00:27 on Saturday, November 16, the MTR's Airport Express service will only run between Hong Kong and Airport stations. 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.

Further demonstrations are planned for Sunday, November 17. A rally and human chain is planned at Chater Garden (Central) at 15:30, and another rally is set to take place in Edinburgh Place (Central) at 19:00.

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.

Context

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.

Advice

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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