Police show strength in dealing with rioters
Conflicts, clashes no way of solving divergence: expert
Rioters in Hong Kong on Sunday turned anti-government protests in Kowloon and Tsuen Wan into violence for the 12th straight weekend which forced the police to use wer cannons for the first time since months-long protests to disperse illegal rallies and maintain order in the city.
Young protesters, who call themselves “fighters for the city,” have not ceased pushing the city into chaos, putting millions of Hong Kong residents in danger and continuing to sabotage the peaceful life of ordinary people in the city.
Despite the government’s call for dialogue, radical protesters chose to intentionally ignore the sincerity of the government.
After protesters deviated from the permitted route for demonstrations, a group of black-clad protesters set up barricades along Yeung Uk road, throwing petrol bombs toward police officers.
Around 5:30 police announced that water cannons and armored cars were approaching and some of the protesters soon left.
When the water cannon arrived at Texaco Road, the police first dispersed reporters. Then two water cannons shot water at the barricades, sending a shower of mist over the remaining protesters.
While police didn’t target protesters with their water cannons, many protesters fled as soon as the vehicles were deployed.
This is the first time police have used a water cannon during a standoff with protesters since the months-long protests began, and it turned out to be an effective tool in their dispersal operation.
Local residents applauded the use of the water cannon, which reflects an adjustment in police strategies in dealing with rioters.
Politicians and legislators continue to call for talks to work out divergences.
Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Saturday called for a halt to violence and urged protesters to “sit down and talk” to find a way to end the violent protests which have wrecked the city’s social order over the last two months.
However, the government’s attitude of seeking a way out has not prevented radical protesters from escalating the violence and intensifying the conflict with the police.
The HKSAR government, in a Saturday public notice, strongly condemned the violent acts of the protesters, which put passersby and local residents in danger.
Ho Kai-ming, a legislator at the Kwun Tong District Council, strongly condemned Sunday’s violence seen in Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Sham Shui Po. “After the dispersal operation, we had an inspection there and found that various road facilities have been vandalized, and the piles of junks on the highway could easily trigger traffic accidents,” he said.
Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, noted that the weekend’s violence had two objectives. “For one, they want to raise the eyeball of the media; [and] they want to create conditions for their continued so-call peaceful protests, including school strikes.”
Violence is violence, which should end immediately, Tang urged. “Tackling social divergence can only be done through talks in a rational way.”
Hong Kong police use water cannons to disperse illegal rallies for the first time on Sunday in Tsuen Wan. Water was fired toward barricades and the open space without targeting protesters.