Hong Kong protests: Rally ended after police say plain-clothed officers attacked

South China Morning Post

Tear gas was fired in Central to disperse protesters who had attended the demonstration in Chater Garden

South China Morning Post |

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This screen capture shows the crowds after police told protesters to disperse.

Police shut down an approved rally and fired tear gas today in Central. The organiser, Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team, applied for a march from Central to Causeway Bay. But the police would only allow a rally at Central.

Shortly after the rally started at 3pm, the crowd occupied the entire Chater Garden, spreading beyond the Chater Garden.

Thousands took part in the demonstration in Central to demand electoral reform for September’s legislative election and urge the global community to impose sanctions on the Hong Kong government if their calls were ignored.

But it descended into chaos when police declared the rally over after skirmishes between protesters and police nearby.

Police said on Facebook that some protesters threw water bottles at them when they were intercepting people in the area. Some protesters were seen setting up barricades on roads and digging up bricks from the ground.

At least three rounds of tear gas were fired. It is believed hard-core protesters attacked plain-clothes officers after the rally was stopped.

Shortly after the demonstration started at 3pm in Central, police said on their Facebook page that at least four people had been arrested in the area for possession of expandable batons, hammers and spanners. The force said it believed those detained had plans to create chaos.

What should you do if you get hit with tear gas?

The demonstration, the second pushing for more democracy in as many weeks, was held in Chater Garden in Central as the city’s anti-government protests, sparked in June by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, entered their eighth month.

At least one police water cannon and an armoured vehicle were spotted in Admiralty, not far from the rally location. Scores of officers were patrolling the area, including inside the Central MTR station, intercepting rally-goers and checking their bags.