Protesters and police clashed in Mong Kok late (local time) on Saturday, September 7, amid the 14th consecutive weekend of anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong denouncing a perceived erosion of liberties associated with the "one country, two systems" model of governance. Demonstrators engaged police in running clashes with police after the latter fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. Several arrests have been reported. Clashes were also reported at the Sha Tin MTR station. As of 23:59 on Saturday, MTR services have been suspended between Fo Tan and Tai Wo stations, with trains on the Tseung Kwan O line skipping Tseung Kwan O station due to protesters staging a sit-in at the station, and with trains running from Hung Hom to Fo Tan skipping Sha Tin station. The clashes and MTR service disruptions come after police successfully prevented protesters from obstructing access to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) earlier on Saturday.
Additional demonstrations are planned for Sunday, September 8, at Edinburgh Place, where protesters will gather at 14:00 and march toward the US Consulate General. Students are expected to protest and strike countrywide again on Monday, September 9. Several civil society groups are due to protest on Sunday, September 15, at 19:00 at Chater Garden.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in Hong Kong during periods of 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. Protesters' demands later morphed 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. 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 and those traveling via HKG are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, budget extra travel time to HKG, 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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