Out of the ashes: three months on, how will Mong Kok riot change Hong Kong?
Post reporter Chris Lau examines the aftermath of the violence that rocked one of the city’s busiest retail hubs
Two thousand bricks prised from pavements and used as missiles to cause mayhem, 22 fires lit in defiance of order, 800 policemen dispatched to the scene at the height of the chaos, more than 700 alleged rioters on the rampage for over 10 hours, 130 injured by the end of it all.
Three months on, the South China Morning Post catches up with some hawkers and speaks to activists and political scientists to find out how the violence and its aftermath are likely to impact the city in this interactive project. Clicking the link below will open the website in a new window.
The first night of the Lunar New Year began with droves of supporters pouring onto one of the city’s busiest districts, Mong Kok, to show support for itinerant hawkers.
But as night fell, the hawking and snacking turned rowdy and descended into one of the biggest outbreaks of violence since the 1967 disturbances – which later came to be known as the Mong Kok riot.
Flames lit the district’s most hectic streets in a manner unfamiliar to the city that once staged a largely peaceful 79-day pro-democracy protest, the Occupy movement, in 2014.
The night led to 83 arrests, with 51 facing charges at one point. Ten have since had the charges against them dropped, though 41 are still scheduled to appear at Kowloon City Court on September 10.
On Tuesday, 34 defendants will make their third court appearance. Among them are localist activists Edward Leung Tin-kei and Ray Wong Toi-yeung.