BREAKING: Violence erupts in Mong Kok as police charge protesters

Police arrest a protester during a clash in the Mong Kok district in Kowloon after a march to the West Kowloon rail terminus against the proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong on July 7, 2019. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP
Police arrest a protester during a clash in the Mong Kok district in Kowloon after a march to the West Kowloon rail terminus against the proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong on July 7, 2019. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP

At about 11pm this evening, police in riot gear charged a group of protesters in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok neighborhood who had continued marching through Kowloon after an earlier protest nearby had largely dispersed.

Protesters used umbrellas to defend themselves from the charge, which began after a tense 20-minute standoff on a main thoroughfare.

Police using bullhorns had called for a group of some 300 mostly young, masked protesters to leave.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the charge by officers but the renewed scenes of chaos on the city’s streets marred a day that witnessed another huge, peaceful anti-government protest.

Photos posted by veteran activist Joshua Wong showed protesters with bloodied faces after police wielding shields and truncheons had repeated clashes at a series of flash points around the neighborhood.

An indeterminate number of protesters were arrested, with local news feeds showing several physically pinned to the ground and later handcuffed and pushed into waiting police vehicles.

The crowds responded with chants of “release the people” and “black cops” — a play on the phrase “black societies,” which is used to describe triad gangs.

Hong Kong’s Mong Kok neighborhood is well known as the scene of major protests during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, which led to numerous arrests.

As this story publishes, multiple protesters and police are still on the street and the potential for more violence remains. Multiple live feeds have been collated at this website.

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