Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters

On Sunday, university students protesting at Polytechnic University of Hong Kong used bows and arrows to protect themselves from invading riot police. The use of bows and arrows and gasoline bombs was a sharp escalation of violence by the protesters, who are trying to keep the pressure on Hong Kong leaders, who have rejected most of their demands.

The Guardian

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Editor’s Note: The Hillsboro Globe is a member of Associated Press who provides much our world news. Two HS reporters, Keisha Brown and Malaysia Jewell have been reporting on the growing violence in Hong Kong since August 2019. The below breaking news story is the result of their ongoing research and Associated Press reporters who are in Hong Kong. 

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
Protesters stand at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as police storm the campus in Hong Kong, early Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Hong Kong police have stormed into a university campus held by protesters after an all-night standoff. Fiery explosions could be seen inside as riot officers entered before dawn Monday. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

November 17, 2019; 7:30 CST

HONG KONG —  In the last 72 hours, young adult citizens of Hong Kong have faced on of  the  most challenging times in its history. 

Six months of conflict between the Chinese government that rules Hong Kong and  has escalated to a level of violence that is unprecedented in modern history.

 Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days. Police surrounded the area Sunday night and began moving in after issuing an ultimatum for people to leave the area.

The crowd wore raincoats and carried umbrellas to shield themselves. University students in particular are protesting the extradition bill. Activists see the extradition bill as an example of Hong Kong’s eroding autonomy under Beijing rule since the 1997 handover from colonial power Britain.

Police surrounded the area Sunday night and began moving in after issuing an ultimatum for people to leave the area. Riot officers broke in one entrance before dawn as fires raged inside and outside the school, but they didn’t appear to get very far.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
Protestors hurl molotov cocktails as armored police vehicles approach their barricades on a bridge over a highway leading to the Cross Harbour Tunnel in Hong Kong, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. A Hong Kong police officer was hit in the leg by an arrow Sunday as authorities used tear gas and water cannons to try to drive back protesters occupying a university campus and blocking a major road tunnel under the city’s harbor. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Fiery explosions could be seen as protesters responded with gasoline bombs. Police, who have warned that everyone in the area could be charged with rioting, reportedly made a handful of arrests.

At daybreak, protesters remained in control of most of the campus. In one outdoor area, some demonstrators made gasoline bombs while others dozed while wearing gas masks. Two walked about with bows and quivers of arrows, while many stared at their smartphones.

A lull settled on the area as the president of the university said in a video message that that police have agreed to suspend their use of force.

Jin-Guang Teng said police would allow protesters to leave and he would accompany them to the police station to ensure their cases would be processed fairly.

“I hope that you will accept the proposed temporary suspension of force and leave the campus in a peaceful manner,” he said.

It seemed unlikely the protesters would accept the offer given that they would all likely be arrested.

A few hundred streamed out of the campus about 8:15 a.m. in an apparent bid to escape, but they were driven back by police tear gas. Some wearing gas masks calmly picked up smoking tear gas canisters and dropped them into heavy-duty bags, but the protesters decided to retreat with a phalanx of officers lined up across the road in the distance.

On Sunday, university students protesting at Polytechnic University of Hong Kong used bows and arrows to protect themselves from invading riot police. The use of bows and arrows and gasoline bombs was a sharp escalation of violence by the protesters, who are trying to keep the pressure on Hong Kong leaders, who have rejected most of their demands.”

As riot police moved in from all sides, some protesters retreated inside the university. Others set fires on bridges leading to it.

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, a major road under Hong Kong’s harbor that has been blocked by protesters for days.

The use of bows and arrows and gasoline bombs was a sharp escalation of violence by the protesters, who are trying to keep the pressure on Hong Kong leaders, who have rejected most of their demands.

Several hundred people formed a human chain Sunday in central Hong Kong in a peaceful rally in support of the movement.

Azaze Chung, a university student, said the government should respond to the protesters’ demands, not just use force against them.

Police and protesters faced off all day outside Polytechnic after a pitched battle the previous night in which the two sides exchanged tear gas and gasoline bombs that left fires blazing in the street.

A large group of people arrived Sunday morning to try to clean up the road but were warned away by protesters. Riot police shot several volleys of tear gas at the protesters, who sheltered behind a wall of umbrellas and threw gasoline bombs into nearby bushes and trees, setting them on fire.

The protesters held their ground for most of the day, as water cannon trucks drove over bricks and nails strewn by protesters to spray them at close range — some with water dyed blue to help police identify protesters afterward.

Protesters began retreating into the university near sunset, fearing they would be trapped as police approached from other directions. The protesters barricaded the entrances to the campus and set up narrow access control points.

They are the holdouts from larger groups that occupied several major campuses for much of last week.

Another group threw bricks in the street to block a main thoroughfare in the Mongkok district, as police fired tear gas to try to disperse them. The disruption to Nathan Road traffic may have been an attempt to distract police during the standoff at Polytechnic.

Opposition lawmakers criticized the Chinese military for joining a cleanup to remove debris from streets near Hong Kong Baptist University on Saturday.

Dozens of Chinese troops, dressed in black shorts and olive drab T-shirts, ran out in loose formation and picked up paving stones, rocks and other obstacles that had cluttered the street.

The Chinese military is allowed in Hong Kong to help maintain public order, but only at the request of the Hong Kong government. The government said that it had not requested the military’s assistance, describing it as a voluntary community activity.

The Education Bureau announced that classes from kindergarten to high school would be suspended again on Monday because of safety concerns. Classes have been canceled since Thursday, after the bureau came under criticism for not doing so earlier.