Protesters in Hong Kong used lasers to confuse riot police who launched tear gas to disperse crowds as violence escalated in another night of chaos.
Anti-government activists fought cat and mouse skirmishes with officers on Saturday, after being blocked from the airport earlier in the day during a security blitz.
The city turned to chaos as bonfires and debris lined the streets, with dozens of activists needing urgent first aid after being hit by clouds of painful tear gas.
Handheld lasers, which emit powerful beams of green and blue light, were used by pro-democracy activists to daze officers and scramble face recognition cameras.
Protesters in Hong Kong used lasers to confuse riot police who attempted to disperse crowds with tear gas as violence escalated in another chaotic night
The increased scrutiny was aimed at avoiding the chaos of last weekend, when protesters blocked airport approach roads, threw debris onto train tracks and subway stations in a ‘stress test’ protest. Above: Riot police advance during a protest near Mong Kok police station in Hong Kong
Dozens of activists needed urgent first aid after being hit by clouds of painful tear gas. Above: a young woman and a man are treated with water after being affected by tear gas
Hong Kong police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in another chaotic night on Saturday
Anti-government activists fought cat and mouse skirmishes with officers on Saturday, after being blocked from the airport earlier in the day during a security blitz. Above: Police arrest a woman who was protesting near Mong Kok police station in the city
The woman was also seen lying curled up on the road near Mong Kong police station as officers stood over her
It comes as police ignored German Chancellor Merkel renewed pleas for a peaceful solution to the political turmoil during her trip to Beijing, calling for the ‘violence’ not to end in ‘catastrophe’.
The Hong Kong protests have overshadowed a three-day visit Merkel had planned to use to strengthen ties between Chinese markets and German businesses suffering a slowdown at home.
Earlier in the day, police flooded to the airport and security checked hundreds of passengers in an attempt to block a second weekend of protests and disruption.
Travelers heading to and from the airport were stopped and searched for passports and air tickets, while bags were inspected in measures to weed out anti-government activists.
Hong Kong residents and other pro-democracy activists defiantly marched through the streets in an effort to push the police down the street
Riot police officers are seen lined up to face protesters near Mang Kok police station in the city. Today’s protests echo those which have been ongoing for months
Hand-held lasers, which emit powerful beams of green and blue light, were used by pro-democracy activists to daze officers and scramble face recognition cameras
Following allegations that three protesters had died inside the station after it was shut down on August 31, tributes were left outside the station entrance. Above: hundreds of floral tributes cover the closed entrance to Prince Edward station in Hong Kong
The South China Morning Post reported 63 people were arrested in relation to an incident inside the Prince Edward station. Above: People also lit candles to accompany the floral tributes outside the station
As well as the the floral tributes, graffiti reading ‘Liberty or Death’ was seen on a white board nearby
The skirmishes with police have seen numerous protesters arrested, with officers using tear gas and batons to ward off pro-democracy activists. Above: Police chase protesters down the street after people gathered outside Mong Kok Police station
Many of the protesters have not been deterred by the police’s use of tear gas. Above: Hong Kong residents and protesters chant slogans and chase police down the street
Protesters use the light of their mobile phones as they gather outside the Mong Kok police station in Hong Kong earlier today
A woman is arrested by police after after residence and protesters gathered outside the Mong Kok Police station
Police wait to disperse a crowd of residents and protesters during another chaotic night on Saturday
German Chancellor Merkel repeated her renewed calls for a peaceful solution to the unrest during her trip to Beijing, calling for the ‘violence’ not to end in ‘catastrophe’
Anti-government activists resisted officers and lit bonfires as another night of chaos ensued. Above: Protesters stand with umbrellas near Mong Kong police station
A defiant protester dances in front of a row of riot police during a clearing operation in Mongkok, Hong Kong. One officer was seen with his hands on his hips as he watched the man
A journalist had to be treated after being hit by police pepper spray during today’s protests. He was seen as paramedics treated his eyes
Protesters were not afraid to show their defiance as one man raised his middle fingers at the police while wearing a mask
Every police action was caught on camera by both protesters with their smartphones and members of the press. Above: An officer with a pepper ball gun is filmed and photographed by journalists
Police yell and scream at members of the press and residents as the retreat after dispersing a crowd of people from outside the Mong Kok Police Station
The defiance of the ongoing protests and the willingness of thousands of activists to continually flood the street has prompted thousands of police to be deployed in response. Above: officers move down a road during a demonstration today
A child was pictured at the protest near Mong Kok police station with his mother as she used her hands to cover his ears
Police wielded batons and riot shields as they charged at protesters to try to disperse them outside Mangkok Police station
More than 1,800 people have been arrested since the protests started in July. Above: An activist lies on the floor as a police officer cuffs his hands
The intense security came after a night of violence in which riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds as the Chinese city’s political crisis entered its 14th week.
Police today mounted road checks and witnesses reported seeing at least two bus passengers being handcuffed and taken away after police found face masks in their bags.
An express train service ran from Hong Kong directly to the airport, skipping all stations in between. Those with flight tickets were not allowed to enter the terminals, airport officials said.
The increased scrutiny was aimed at avoiding the chaos of last weekend, when protesters blocked airport approach roads, threw debris onto train tracks and subway stations in a ‘stress test’ protest.
Protesters also occupied the arrivals hall last month, halting and delaying flights, amid a series of clashes with police following 14 weeks of demonstrations.
On Saturday, a mass of masked protesters instead gathered at a metro station in the Tung Chung area adjacent to the airport, chanting slogans and calling police ‘murderers’ amid widespread anger over alleged brutality against demonstrators.
Shops at the station were shuttered and riot police stood watch.
Firemen were pictured extinguishing small street fires which had been started during the skirmishes with police in Hong Kong
Dozens of protesters used umbrellas as a symbol of defiance and to shield themselves during today’s clashes with police
One protester was surrounded by police and arrested after residents and protesters gathered outside Mong Kong police station in the city
This man was also arrested outside Mong Kok police station. Officers were dressed in riot helmets and stab vests and one was seen trying to stop journalists from taking pictures of the man’s arrest
Officers carried rifles to fire volleys of tear gas at protesters today. It is a tactic they have used repeatedly during the ongoing clashes
Hong Kong police flooded to the airport on Saturday and security checked hundreds of passengers in an attempt to block a second weekend of disruption and violence
Several hundred travelers heading to and from the airport were inspected for passports and air tickets while bags were searched
Police mounted road checks and witnesses reported seeing at least two bus passengers being handcuffed and taken away
Masked protesters shout slogans as they gather in an ‘stress test’ at Tung Chung station in Hong Kong today
Riot police secure the area outside the Tung Chung MTR station in anticipation of protests
Officers with masks and helmets wielded tear gas guns and batons as they clashed with protesters. Above: One officer holds a gun which fires rubber bullets
A woman arrested by riot police was seen crouched in a corner and surrounded by a horde of helmet-clad police
Police made arrests during today’s clashes, using plastic cuffs to tie protesters’ hands behind their backs. Above: A man is arrested in Mongkok today
Officers in riot gear hold shields as they walk past a man sleeping on a wall. The protesters have not been deterred by use of tear gas
Riot police dispersed protesters and then secured the area, using vans to block roads. The protests have been ongoing for months and were sparked by the attempted introduction of a law which would have allowed extradition to mainland China
Police stand guard after dispersing a crowd of residents and protesters who had gathered outside the Mong Kok Police Station
Traffic was also disrupted by the protests, with these buses seen blocked by makeshift barricades and bins which have been placed in the road
People scream at the police as they guard a street before dispersing a crowd of residents and protesters after they gathered outside the Mong Kok Police Station
A police officer screams as he pushes back members of the media after police arrested a number of demonstrators
Members of the media look on as a protester holds a cake with writing saying ‘liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times’
Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of anti-government protests for the past three months. The demonstrations were initially sparked by a proposed law that would allow some criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland China to stand trial.
The airport, the world’s eighth busiest, has been a frequent target during a summer of protests sparked by an extradition bill that would allow some criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland China to stand trial.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Wednesday that her government would withdraw the bill, but that failed to appease protesters who have expanded their goals to include other issues.
German Chancellor Merkel visited China on over the weekend, and twice pleaded for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Hon Kong.
Merkel, on a visit to Beijing, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
On Saturday, she said: ‘I have advocated that conflicts be resolved without violence and that anything else would be a catastrophe from my point of view,’ Merkel said.
After talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, Merkel said Beijing had listened to her views.
‘This is important,’ she added.
There were calls online for protesters to shed their trademark black shirts and forge boarding passes to gain access to airport terminals.
A man reacts as a policeman swings his baton at him while a female member of the press records what is happening
Police were seen leading away protesters who had been arrested, including one woman who was held by both arms with her hands cuffed behind her back
A man defiantly raises his arms above his head as he stands against a wall of a police in front of dozens of protesters
Pockets of hundreds of protesters stood on the street during the ongoing clashes with police today. Above: A group of people look on as riot police stand near them
A man with his face covered in blood was seen being led into a police van by officers during today’s protests in Hong Kong
One man was pictured at the exact moment that pepper spray was fired towards his face during today’s clashes with police
Protesters gesture at police officers as they ascend an escalator during a demonstration at Tung Chung station
Police check a passenger’s bag at the airport as travelers are screened for flying
People watch from a bridge as protesters gather near Tung Chung station
Merkel, on a visit to Beijing, met with Chinese premier Li Keqiang on Friday as she pleaded for a peaceful solution to months of violence and chaos
Riot police walk next to a street barricade during a demonstration in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong on Friday
Protesters set up bonfire and use umbrellas to barricade themselves against police
Police warned that plans to use fake boarding passes to gain entry could land offenders up to 14 years in jail. Police also said motorists who intentionally slow down to disrupt traffic could be charged for dangerous or reckless driving.
Violence erupted again late Friday in Hong Kong’s crowded Kowloon area after police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters smashed up metro stations and set fires on the street.
Demonstrators retreated after riot police chased them down streets but they regrouped again.
Some lit piles of boxes to build burning barricades while others used hammers and metal rods to smash traffic lights and vandalize subway stations. Graffiti along walls read ‘Boycott China’ and ‘Liberty or death.’
Police said three subway stations had to be shut down after protesters thrashed ticket machines, security cameras and turnstiles and damaged fire facilities. Police slammed the behavior as ‘outrageous’ and vowed to take ‘resolute enforcement actions.’
The persistent violence has hurt Hong Kong’s economy and sparked fears of a Chinese military intervention. Chinese officials have warned that Beijing will ‘not sit idly by’ if the situation worsens.
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive Carrie Lam announced her decision to formally withdrawn an extradition bill that sparked the protests in a television announcement yesterday
Protesters have adopted a new slogan, ‘Five key demands, not one less.’ In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, they want an independent investigation into accusations of police brutality, the unconditional release of those detained during the protests, no more labeling of the protests as riots and direct elections of the city’s leaders.
Lam has rejected those demands.
The protests show no signs of abating ahead of China’s National Day celebrations on October 1, despite Lam’s concession on the extradition bill.
Protesters plan to march to the U.S. Embassy on Sunday to drum up international support.
What is happening in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong protesters are demanding democratic reforms and the complete withdraw of a law bill that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. Protesters are pictured waving their phones in a demonstration on August 28
Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of anti-government protests for more than five months.
The demonstrations were initially sparked by a proposed law that would allow some criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland China to stand trial.
Hong Kong is ruled under the ‘one country, two system’ policy and has different legal and governing systems to mainland China.
The principle was agreed upon by China and the UK before the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.
However, many residents in the semi-autonomous city feel that their freedoms are eroding due to the tight political grip of Beijing.
The extradition bill was suspended indefinitely by the government in June, but the rallies have morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that calls for government reforms and universal suffrage, among others.
Protesters are also demanding an independent inquiry into what they view as excessive violence from the police during clashes.
Mass rallies, sometimes attended by as many as two million people, have taken place every weekend since June 9.
Protesters have targeted government buildings, Beijing’s representative office in Hong Kong, shopping centres and international airport to express their demands.
The demonstrations often start with a peaceful march or sit-in and end up in violent clashes between activists and police.
A repeated pattern sees activists throwing items such as bricks and petrol bombs at the police and anti-riot officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.
More than 5,000 people have been detained so far in connection to the unrest. Among them, nearly 40 per cent are students.
Beijing has described the situation in Hong Kong the ‘worst crisis’ the city has seen since its handover in 1997. It has also called some activists ‘rioters’ and ‘political terrorists’.
The city’s chief executive Carrie Lam on September 4 promised to formally withdraw the extradition bill, but the move failed to ease the chaos.
She is yet to satisfy the protesters’ other demands.
On October 4, Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers to ban protesters from wearing masks during rallies in a further bid to quell the unrest.
The extradition bill was formally withdrawn by the city’s government on October 23.