Hong Kong protests: Stand-off between demonstrators and police continues on Monday as early morning clashes break out at Polytechnic University

Hong Kong protests: Stand-off between demonstrators and police continues on Monday as early morning clashes break out at Polytechnic University

Protesters also pledged to block public transport services in an attempt to divert police manpower

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An anti-government protester watches as a fire rages at the entrance to Polytechnic University.
Photo: Reuters

An intense stand-off between police and protesters continued at Polytechnic University on Monday morning, with demonstrators vowing to stage more traffic disruptions elsewhere in the city.

Tensions flared when riot police pushed forward at the Poly U campus in Hung Hom at around 5.30am.

A wrap up of events from the weekend at Polytechnic University

Protesters were seen setting fire to the school’s main entrance on Cheong Wan Road and throwing petrol bombs from above officers, who fired multiple rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets from the rooftop of the adjacent Hong Kong Museum of History.

A man was seen being removed from the university campus by a first aider on a stretcher.

At about 7am, protesters occupying the podium at the university’s main entrance stopped firefighters from putting out the blaze, while throwing objects into it to keep it burning.

Government inaction criticised across the political spectrum

One protester was heard telling his peers that riot police would rush in once the fire was extinguished.
 
But in a statement, police said it was totally false to suggest they had “raided” the premises on Monday morning, claiming they were only continuing their “dispersal and arrest operation”.
 
They said “a large gang of rioters” had gathered at Cheong Wan Road since midnight, where they hurled petrol bombs, and caused fires in which multiple explosions were also heard.
 
“Fire was observed in various locations in the PolyU premises. Explosives, flammable substances and dangerous goods also pose threats to anyone therein,” the statement read. “Police appeal to everyone inside the campus to leave immediately.”
 

Shortly before 2am, a group of pan-democratic lawmakers, and auxiliary bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, offered to enter PolyU and take away those who were willing to leave, but were turned down by police.

Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said police had later shone bright lights at them and warned they were also taking part in a riot.

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Meanwhile, protesters pledged to continue their strategy of bringing the city to a partial standstill on Monday morning by blocking major thoroughfares and disrupting public transport services in a bid to divert police manpower.

Some also responded to calls to head to Hung Hom to rescue their peers in PolyU.

Train services between Hung Hom and Mong Kok East stations on the East Rail line have been suspended by the city’s railway operator.

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