More protests in Hong Kong after dismissal of controversial bill

Two days after Hong Kong’s government officially withdrew a controversial extradition bill that was at the center of numerous mass demonstrations this year, protesters again rallied in the streets Friday and shut down rail stations during rush hour.

Riot police detain demonstrators on August 25 during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong. Photo by Jerome Favre

Journalists and paramedics were prohibited from entering the Prince Edward station until the passengers dispersed. More than 60 people were arrested on charges ranging from possession of offensive weapons to criminal damage and unlawful assembly.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced this week the withdrawal of the extradition bill, which was the initial cause of the protests months ago. Protesters have since added other grievances to their rallies, including one involving the release of video footage of police attacking demonstrators last month. The video will be kept for three years but only authorized officials can view it. Some say the video would support their claims about police brutality.

Later Friday, police fired tear gas on a busy Hong Kong street and beanbag rounds at the Mong Kok police station to disperse crowds of demonstrators. Protesters responded by blocking roads and lighting fires in the street.

New demonstrations and traffic disruptions are expected Saturday.

The Airport Authority placed ads in several local newspapers urging protesters not to disrupt air travelers.

“Spare our passengers further disruption,” it stated. “We again strongly urge protesters not to disrupt the journey of tens of thousands of travelers who use our airport every day.”

ByNicholas Sakelaris