When we went on holiday, Hong Kong was being rocked by protests for weeks on end, at the refusal of the Chief Executive Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor to withdraw a bill – a proposed law – that would allow people suspected of crimes to face trial in China.
On July 1, in the early hours of the morning, masked protesters took over key roads in the city, sparking clashes with police. Later, hundreds of protesters smashed their way into Legco and trashed the building.
Protests continued, some involving clashes with police. On July 9, Lam announced the bill was “dead” but would not say it was withdrawn, which is what the protesters demanded.
On July 15, protests in Sha Tin turned violent. Police chased protesters into New Town Plazamall shooting tear gas. Protesters and police were locked in fierce battle, leaving 22 injured and 37 arrested. Two days later, the protesters made it on the Time’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet list.
On July 21, mobs of men, dressed in white T-shirts, attacked passengers at Yuen Long MTR station including people returning from the protest. Police did not respond quickly to calls for help, and protesters accused police and lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu of working with triads to suppress the protests.
Protests continued and a young woman was badly injured in her eye. Protesters claim she was shot by police using a beanbag round.
On August 12, protesters massed at Hong Kong International Airport. The government shut down the airport, throwing travel into chaos. The day after, protesters returned, this time preventing travellers from getting to planes. Protesters beat up two men who they believed were undercover policemen.
Many protests were perfectly peaceful. Secondary students gathered on August 22 at Edinburgh Place. On August 25, police brought water cannon to the protest in Tsuen Wan, and when police officers there were attacked by protesters with sticks, one fired a warning shotfrom a gun for the first time in these protests.
On Thursday, two protest leaders were beaten by masked men, and on Friday six protest leaders were arrested.