Hong Kong protests: August 5 citywide strike turns violent at night, police arrest 148

A group of men armed with bamboo poles attacked protesters in North Point while multiple police stations were besieged

Susan Ramsay |

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A group of men armed with sticks attacked anti-extradition protesters in North Point at night.

[Updated: 6 August 5:20pm]

At a press conference to be held daily by the police, they confirmed 148 persons ranging from age 13 to 63 were arrested and around 800 canisters of tear gas were used, compared to 1000 used since 9 June. Repoters in attendance protested police interfereing with the freedom of the press by reciting a statement condemming police actions and wearing reflective press vests.

Protesters first took to the streets for what they said were peaceful rallies in seven locations during the day, but then things turned ugly. It became obvious that many were out to target the police, their families and police stations.

Earlier in the day a citywide strike had crippled Hong Kong, affecting the MTR, bus services, airport and cancelling more than 200 flights. But then protesters started gathering around police stations in Tin Shui Wai, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Tsim Sha Tsui, Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan.

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At some stations, protesters started fires, threw eggs, brick and even petrol bombs and spray painted foul language on the walls. More than 80 people were arrested. A national flag was also removed from a pole near the ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui and dropped into Victoria Harbour.

In North Point a group of men armed with sticks attacked protesters. The protesters fought back with metal rods and threw umbrellas and anything else they could find at the attackers who soon found themselves outnumbered. The attackers fled into a building on Fung Yuen West Street. Protesters surrounded the building and broke the a window of a flat where two men waved knives at them. 

The protests earlier in the day had been mostly peaceful, but tense. Video clips online showed a driver being punched and his vehicle’s windscreen smashed when he tried to drive through protester barricades. Another video showed a red taxi driving straight through a group of protesters, appearing to hit one and not even slow down.