A total of 269 people were arrested on Sunday in Hong Kong after tens of thousands had filled the streets in six districts and rallies descended into violence with fires lit and tear gas fired.
Of the 269 detained on Sunday, 93 were students. Those arrested were allegedly joining unlawful assemblies and possessing weapons, the police said at their daily press briefing on Wednesday. The police added that they may charge some with rioting after they conduct a probe.
About 1,400 tear gas canisters, 900 rounds of rubber bullets, 230 sponge rounds and 190 bean bag rounds were fired to disperse crowds on the streets. Six live rounds were fired as well, including one from close range which hit a protester.
The Hospital Authority said a total of 117 people were sent to hospitals – 88 men and 29 women whose ages ranged from 11 to 75. Three men and two women were in hospitals in serious conditions.
A total of 30 police officers were also injured. Five were still in hospitals, including two officers who suffered injuries from a corrosive liquid.
Although the Civil Human Rights Front was barred from holding a massive-scale protest from Causeway Bay to Central, Hong Kong protesters still took to the streets. They scattered to different parts of the city ranging from not only Hong Kong Island, but also Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po in Kowloon, Tsuen Wan, Shatin and Tuen Mun in the New Territories.
Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC and it was a holiday in Hong Kong.
Many shopping malls were closed on Tuesday after police warned of a “very dangerous” situation, claiming radical protesters were staging deadly attacks.
Police said they seized materials used to make petrol bombs including thinner, naphtha, magnesium and aluminum powder, as well as glass bottles, on Monday night in Wanchai. Five people, including two students, were arrested for alleged conspiracy to make offensive weapons.
Malls managed by the MTR Crop, Maritime Square in Tsing Yi, Elements above Kowloon Station and Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay were shut for the day, with an announcement on social media saying this was a safety measure in light of calls for protesters to target malls.
Several malls in Causeway Bay were also closed including Hysan Place, Lee Gardens, Lee Theatre and Leighton Centre.
The MTR Corp, the railway operator, shut down 11 stations on Tuesday morning due to “upcoming public activity.” When the violence escalated later in the day, the railway company closed 47 stations, almost half of the railway lines.
The violence started in Wong Tai Sin when police fired multiple rounds of tear gas at a crowd of hundreds who had formed a defensive line using umbrellas and other objects.
Protesters carrying bamboo sticks later went to Sheung Fung Street and a new stand-off with police ensured. Some protesters later blocked traffic on Po Kong Village Road, while a row of motorbikes parked near disciplinary staff quarters was set on fire. Firefighters were called to put out the blaze.
Some restaurants were also targeted and vandalized because family members of the restaurant chain owners had spoken out against protesters.
In Tuen Mun, a crowd of several hundred protesters gathered, at one point battling with the police and pushing them back by throwing a variety of objects at them.
One protester was filmed by onlookers as she was dragged by police along a floor and then one police officer slapped her face while other officers pushed reporters away.
Demosisto, founded by former student activist Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, confirmed that the arrested woman was their volunteer who helped ethnic minorities groups in Hong Kong.
In Sham Shui Po, protesters chanted slogans and then some dismantled railings and used them as barricades to block the road. Offices later charged down the road at them and the protesters fled into various nearby streets.
The protesters later regrouped after police retreated. They damaged the Cheung Sha Wan Government Officers and set fire to the outside of the building.
In Tsuen Wan, protesters also set fire to objects outside an office of the China Travel Service and sprayed paint outside a branch of the Bank of China. They later set up barricades on Castle Peak Road.
In Sha Tin, hundreds headed towards Siu Lek Yuen after a rally at Che Kung Temple. Tear gas was also later fired in the district after protesters blockaded a road.
Protesters also packed into the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai, later streaming out to block nearby Luard Road with rubbish bins. They then joined the thousands of other peaceful marchers heading to Central. Police started to take action after some people threw bricks and rocks at the government headquarters in Admiralty. They fired several rounds of tear-gas and used their water-cannon vehicle to disperse the crowd.