2019-11-11 14:22:201 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Chanel Adams, Image: Hong Kong protests (Image source: Thomas Au)
The Hong Kong protests are getting increasingly worse. Since protests started back in June, Hong Kong has had one of its most violent days yet.
The protests have gotten so bad that protestors have been left paralyzed or left to die. Tensions grew on Monday morning when demonstrators, who were angry of a previous protestor-related death on Friday, took their anger to the streets and interrupted the morning commute.
A fight broke out at the subway station after a police officer shot a protestor point blank. The entire incident was caught on video that immediately went viral on social media. The protestor is said to be in intensive care.
Following the shooting was a flash mob that took place at noon in Central, which is known as Hong Kong’s premiere shopping district.
Police entered the scene and fired tear gas to remove the protestors. This led to extreme chaos among protestors and employees who tried to hide in the luxury shops.
Another video surfaced of a man that was covered in petrol and lit on fire. According to Hu Xijin, an editor for China’s Global Times newspaper, the victim disagreed with the other protestors, which lead to the attack.
The unidentified man is currently in critical condition. Hospital authorities also revealed that 50 people are currently injured. The recent viral videos have proven that conditions have only gotten worse in Hong Kong.
This protest shows no signs of letting down after six months of violent demonstrations that have taken place since Beijing’s tight grip over the city. In addition, Hong Kong stocks have dipped lower than they ever have in the last three months.
Chinese banks released employees home early. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has also closed its own branches, leading citizens to fear an uncertain economy. The Hong Kong protests could cause the city to head into a recession.
Even classes were cancelled at the University of Hong Kong. A statement on the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union Facebook page has called for future classes to be suspended.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Fernando Cheung says that while the tensions are on both sides, it seems to be growing more on the police’s side. He fears that tensions will “become more chaotic and more violent” as time goes on.
The Hong Kong government has asked protestors to be “calm and rational” moving forward. Even Chief Executive Carrie Lam has spoken out about the protests and says that violence won’t resolve any of the current issues that Hong Kong is going through.
Their upmost focus is to put an end to the constant violence so Hong Kong can retain some sense of normalcy once again. But protestors are demanding the resignation of Lam.
In the meantime, protestors have been mourning the death of a university student, Chow Tsk-Lok, who fell to his death from a parking garage after police fired tear gas in his direction.
The cause of Lok’s death is unclear, but most accuse the police of using heavy-handed tactics such as pepper spray and tear gas. Police denied any involvement in Lok’s death on Friday.
The police also deny pushing a 22-year-old student during Monday’s early morning incident. Hong Kong is preparing for its Nov. 24district council elections that will finally reveal the public’s views toward the government.
Pro-democracy lawmakers have accused the Chinese government for provoking this violence in an effort to cancel or postpone the elections.
There has also been anger and outrage over the police tactics in the latest string of protests in which injured protestors. Hong Kong’s police authorities don’t have the authority to investigate the ongoing protests within the city, according to the Independent Expert Panel that was brought in, as reported by Bloomberg.
The five experts in the panel were brought in back in September by the IPCC. Their responsibility is to advise the council as tensions between the government and protestors grow.
Protestors are asking for an independent inquiry into the police’s conduct. The call for the IPCC to investigate has increased even more with the recent events. This has become a matter of urgency as the Hong Kong protests get even more violent.
Violence erupted late Friday night when several protestors took the streets following the memorial for the late student in several locations. Over 3,300 people have been arrested since the start of the protests.
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