Multiple MTR lines have suspended services in Hong Kong as of the early morning hours (local time) of Sunday, September 1, following clashes between anti-government protesters and police on Saturday, August 31, into early Sunday morning. The demonstrations mark the 13th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests in Hong Kong denouncing a perceived erosion of liberties associated with the "one country, two systems" model of governance. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, including in Causeway Bay, with police responding by firing tear gas and water cannons. Demonstrators also erected barricades, setting one on fire on Hennessy Road in Wan Chai. As of early Sunday, service on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Island, and South Island MTR lines have been suspended; police beat at least four passengers with batons in the Prince Edward station. A standoff was reported at the Mong Kok Police Station around 01:00 on Sunday, with police warning demonstrators that they will fire on them if they do not disperse. Further clashes between protesters and police are to be expected in Hong Kong over the coming hours and days, as well as consequent disruptions to transportation and business in affected areas.
On Friday, August 30, police officials banned another rally scheduled for Monday, September 2, in Tsim Sha Tsui. The demonstration was set to coincide with the launch of a two-day strike across the territory at 13:00. Workers from at least 20 different sectors are expected to participate. It is unclear if the police will also ban a rally set to take place at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Monday. University and secondary students are also planning to strike on Monday and Tuesday, September 3. Secondary students in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon plan to gather at Edinburgh Place from 10:30 to 17:00 on September 2. University students are also calling for a rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 15:00 until 17:00.
An August 5 general strike in Hong Kong resulted in severe transportation disruptions, including flight and public transportation cancelations, and violent clashes between protesters and police. Although the upcoming strikes and rallies are intended to pass off peacefully, violent clashes are possible. Severe transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be expected throughout Hong Kong during protest activity.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held in Hong Kong since June 9, in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms and be used to silence dissent and criticism. The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn. Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. On July 21, a group of pro-government men armed with bars and sticks attacked protesters and commuters in Yuen Long, leaving 45 people injured. 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 associated disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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