Clashes broke out between protesters and police in Hong Kong on Sunday, September 8, amid the 14th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests. Demonstrators reportedly marched from the Chater Garden in the Central district to the US Consulate General, where they called on US President Donald Trump to "liberate Hong Kong." The protests deteriorated into violence after police arrested a number of people at the Central MTR station. Demonstrators set barricades, broke windows, and started street fires in and around the station, prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds. Protesters then moved on to Admiralty and on to Causeway Bay, where further clashes were reported. Additional protests were reported in Kowloon, including in Prince Edward.
Additional demonstrations are to be expected in Hong Kong over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected 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 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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