Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong descended into the city’s subway system Tuesday, blocking commuters from exiting their trains.  

Service was delayed and partially suspended at some stations along the route, forcing commuters to wait in long lines for free shuttle bus service to other subway stops.  Clashes broke out between demonstrators and angry, frustrated commuters eager and anxious to get to work.  

The protests have morphed from a call to end the now-suspended bill to extradite Hong Kong residents charged with criminal offenses in China, into demonstrations for democratic reforms and an end to Beijing’s tightening grip on the territory. 

It is the worst social turmoil to rock the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule 22 years ago.

A Chinese government official on Monday called on the people of Hong Kong to oppose violence and accused some Western politicians of stirring unrest.   

Yang Guang, a spokesman for China’s cabinet-level Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, also reiterated the government’s support for Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive Carrie Lam.

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