Thousands of people are reportedly marching through Hong Kong’s Central district as of 13:50 (local time) on Thursday, November 14. Demonstrators are blocking Pedder Street, Des Voeux Road Central, and Connaught Road Central. According to media reports, it is unclear how long the protesters will gather in the area or if they will move to a different location. Spontaneous marches were also reported on King’s Road (Tai Koo), One Island East, and in Kwun Tong, with roads being blocked with debris, bricks, and other items.
Significant transportation disruptions are ongoing throughout Hong Kong on Thursday. Protesters threw debris onto the Tolo Highway, which connects Sha Tin and Tai Po, to disrupt traffic at 07:00. Barricades were also erected on the Hung Hom side of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, preventing buses and vehicles from using the tunnel. MTR service remains disrupted on multiple lines due to vandalism at some stations. Trains are either bypassing some stations or all service has been suspended. In some areas, including along the Tung Chung Line, buses are unable to replace trains due to adverse road conditions. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.
Tensions remain high around university campuses on Thursday as standoffs between students and police officers continue. Tear gas was fired at the Polytechnic University Chatham Road South entrance at around 08:15. According to media reports as of 09:00, students at Polytechnic are blocking the entrances to the campus and are preparing to respond if the police use force to disperse them. Outside of the University of Hong Kong, residents have begun clearing roadblocks placed by students. Bricks were also placed by demonstrators outside of Hong Kong Baptist University on Thursday morning. Protesters remain gathered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) campus in Sha Tin, occupying a bridge over Tolo Highway and the East Rail line. All classes at kindergartens, primary, and secondary schools have been suspended on Thursday as a precaution.
Further protests may occur with little warning and a heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the political situation in the city 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.
Tension significantly escalated across the territory on November 11, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Later in the day a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire.
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 disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, 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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