Approximately four hundred people were arrested on New Year’s Day during protests in Hong Kong. The protests started as a march with tens of thousands of participants, but soon the atmosphere became grim and the police decided to use tear gas. Since the protests began in June, more than seven thousand people have been arrested.
Authorities announced that the arrests were made for, among other things, attending a prohibited meeting and possession of weapons. People were also arrested during New Year’s Eve because they blocked a major road. For safety reasons, the annual Hong Kong fireworks show was replaced by a light show.
Wednesday’s protest march was grim when protesters started spraying graffiti and smashed ATMs. Those machines were from a bank that had closed an account that raised money for protesters. Demonstrators created their own transport lines that could be used to equip demonstrators with items such as stones.
Civilian agents sprayed with pepper spray on the crowd. After the police started using tear gas, demonstrators created a line of defense and some people would have thrown gas bombs at officers.
To put an end to the protest march, officers closed roads and water cannons were deployed.
Hong Kong people have been campaigning for half a year
Residents of the Chinese autonomous region have been campaigning for half a year. In the first instance, they demonstrated against a bill that had since been withdrawn, which made extradition to China possible. Now the Hong Kong people focus on the police and politics. They demand, among other things, an independent investigation into police violence and full democracy.
It is relatively quiet in Hong Kong since the pro-democrats made a historic win in the district elections in November.