Hong Kong police fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas to break up protesters throwing petrol bombs and bricks near the Legislative Council building and central government offices on Sunday, the latest in weeks of sometimes violent unrest.
Week 15 of Hong Kong protests. At this point, it’s about democracy and a refusal to normalize police militarization, immunity and abuse of power. Police banned this march but people showed up anyway, families with young children & black bloc protesters marching side by side pic.twitter.com/kOgrsxCrKG
— Elaine Yu (@yuenok) September 15, 2019
Some protesters threw bricks at police outside the nearby Chinese People’s Liberation Army base in the city and tore down and set fire to a red banner proclaiming the 70th anniversary on October 1 of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
One water cannon caught fire after being hit by a petrol bomb. The water cannon fired blue jets of water, used elsewhere in the world to help identify protesters later.
“Police warn the protesters to stop their illegal acts and leave the scene immediately,” police said in a statement.
The Chinese-ruled territory has been rocked by more than three months of clashes, with demonstrators angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy.
Earlier, hundreds of Hong Kong protesters singing “God Save the Queen” and waving Union Jack flags rallied outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, lays out Hong Kong’s future after its return to China in 1997, a “one country, two systems” formula that ensures freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.
“Sino-British Joint Declaration is VOID,” one placard read. “SOS Hong Kong,” read another.
“One country, two systems is dead,” they shouted in English under the sub-tropical sun, some carrying the colonial flag also bearing the Union Jack. “Free Hong Kong.”
With many young people looking for routes out of Hong Kong, campaigners say Britain should change the status of the British National (Overseas) passport, a category created after Britain returned Hong Kong to China.