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Police severely condemn escalating violence of protestors
     From yesterday (August 4) to the small hours of today (August 5), a lot of radical and violent acts happened at multiple locations in the territory. Some protestors committed arson at various places, hurled bricks and hard objects at Police stations, as well as hurling suspected corrosive substances at Police officers. Police severely condemn the escalating violence of the protestors.

     There were public meeting and public procession in Tseung Kwan O yesterday afternoon in which participants departed from Po Tsui Park. During the event, the whole of Po Fung Road and part of the carriageway of Po Lam Road North were occupied by the participants. They also removed roadside fences on Mau Yip Road and set road blocks, causing serious traffic obstruction.

     On the other hand, some participants of the public meeting in Western District left Belcher Bay Park which was the original public meeting location, and headed to Central direction through Des Voeux Road West. The participants occupied the carriageways and set road blocks, then protested along Queen's Road West. Police urged members of the public assembling at scene unlawfully to leave as soon as possible through on-site broadcast, social media and press releases. Such warnings were repeated but to no avail, Police then used tear gas and appropriate force to disperse the protestors.

     At around 8pm, a large group of protestors from Western District headed to Causeway Bay and conducted unauthorised assembly. The protestors occupied the carriageways of Hennessy Road near Causeway Bay and blocked the roads by using fences, causing serious traffic obstruction. Some protestors deliberately damaged the traffic lights along Canal Road flyover, vandalising Government property and intending to paralyse the whole traffic network of the district.

     After that, some protestors proceeded to block Gloucester Road and both traffic lanes of Cross-Harbour Tunnel nearby, leading to complete closure of both ways of the tunnel tubes and traffic obstruction. During the blockage, an ambulance was stuck at the entrance of the tunnel tube.

     In face of the situation, after giving repeated but futile warnings, Police discharged tear gas at the junction of Hennessy Road and Percival Street to disperse the protestors. Protestors became increasingly violent during the dispersal operations. Some protestors set fire to a trolley of rubbish bins, wooden planks and miscellaneous objects, and pushed it towards Police cordon line on Percival Street. Police then used appropriate force to stop the violent acts.

     Later in the small hours today, the protests took place at various locations in Kowloon and New Territories. Protestors repeatedly confronted and assaulted Police officers. They also obstructed multiple tunnels and thoroughfares, including Tseung Kwan O Tunnel and Kwun Tong Road, paralysing the traffic. Hence, Police conducted dispersal operations in Wong Tai Sin, Tseung Kwan O, Kwun Tong and Tin Shui Wai respectively.

     A number of Police stations were also besieged and under violent acts of protestors. Subsequently, the report room services of Tseung Kwan O, Wan Chai, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Tin Shui Wai Police Stations were temporarily suspended, which greatly affected Police’s provision of emergency services to the public.

     A series of radical and violent acts also happened outside Tseung Kwan O, Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin Police Stations respectively. Some protestors used self-made catapults to hurl bricks and hard objects into the Stations. Some even hurled suspected corrosive substances at Police officers. Furthermore, a large number of glass windows of the Stations were damaged. Some graffiti with content of insulting Police officers was drawn on the outer walls. Wong Tai Sin Disciplined Services Quarters was also once surrounded by protestors.

     During the operation, Police arrested 44 persons for offences including unlawful assembly and possession of offensive weapons etc. Police strongly condemn the radical protestors who disregarded law and order. Police reiterate that resolute enforcement actions will be taken against all illegal and violent acts.

     Police always respect the public’s freedom to express views and opinions, as well as the right to assembly. However, the violence of protestors is escalating rapidly in their recent illegal acts and the situation is getting out of control.

     Police reiterate that Police are capable and determined to maintain law and order and will not tolerate any violence.
Ends/Monday, August 5, 2019
Issued at HKT 6:28
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