Secondary school students and other demonstrators are calling for another day of rallies on Wednesday, October 2, after police shot a protester using live ammunition the day before. Violent clashes broke out between security forces and protesters in multiple areas on Tuesday, October 1, as crowds gathered for a “day of grief” amid celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. A police officer shot an 18-year-old student after the student had hit him with a metal rod in Tsuen Wan on Tuesday afternoon (local time). According to medical officials, the student is in critical condition but expected to survive. Hong Kong’s police commissioner said that the victim has been arrested for assaulting police and that an investigation into the shooting is ongoing, but from current video evidence the officer’s decision was “legal and reasonable.” As of Wednesday morning, it is unclear when or where any associated gatherings will be held.
Violence escalated throughout Monday, with protesters reportedly using corrosive fluids and petrol bombs against security forces, injuring multiple police officers and reporters. Protesters also started fires in Wong Tai Sin, Tsuen Wan, and Wan Chai, trashed MTR stations, and vandalized several locations associated with the Chinese government, including the pro-Beijing party Democratic Alliance branch office, Beijing-loyalist lawmakers' offices in Wong Tai Sin, and the government office in Sham Shui Po, which was petrol bombed around 20:30. Further escalation between demonstrators and security forces are likely in the coming hours.
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 in the coming days as territory-wide strikes have been called through Monday, October 7.
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 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.
The Chinese government doubled the number of mainland security troops deployed in Hong Kong during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), 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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