Clashes broke out between protesters and police in Hong Kong on Saturday, November 2, amid the 22nd consecutive weekend of anti-government protests. Some protesters reportedly set fire to metro stations and hurled petrol bombs toward police, prompting security forces to respond with tear gas and water cannons. Scuffles between demonstrators and police were reported in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Central, Mong Kok, and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Several shops and businesses were vandalized by protesters, including the office of China's official Xinhua news agency in Wan Chai. Demonstrators reportedly raided the office, sprayed graffiti, and set fire to the lobby. Protesters also set fire to the entrance of the Central MTR station, forcing its closure.
Demonstrations are expected to continue over the near term and may occur with little warning. Rail disruptions are expected in the coming days and weeks. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation 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.
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.
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.
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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