The recent streak of peaceful protests was broken Wednesday at Yuen Long MTR station on Wednesday night, as demonstrators confronted police while marking one month since a mob rampage that left dozens injured.
While thousands of mostly masked, black-clad protesters started by holding a peaceful sit-in at the station, smaller groups were out to make trouble. Some put up barriers and hurled abuse at riot police on standby at the nearby village of Tung Tau Tsuen.
Police chased them back to the station, where they ran in and set off fire extinguishers in a late-night stand-off. They set up barriers using rubbish bins and fire sand buckets while police remained on the footbridge outside.
The MTR announced that trains would not stop at Yuen Long station while special trains would be arranged for those already at the station.
The protesters filled almost the entire station concourse and spilled out into the connecting shopping centre.
While some protesters chanted anti-police and revolutionary slogans on Wednesday night, others reminded them that it was meant to be a silent protest.
At around 8pm, protesters stood silently, each covering his or her right eye to express their anger over a severe eye injury suffered by a young woman at a protest outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station on August 11. Protesters say she was hit by a police beanbag round, but the force is not taking the blame pending an investigation.
Yuen Long resident Benjamin Tsang, a 21-year old university student, accused police of selectively enforcing the law.
“I am disappointed. No prosecution has been made against the mob over the past month while nearly 50 protesters in Sheung Wan were charged with rioting within hours,” he said, referring to clashes on July 28.