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Sunday, July 21, 2019, 21:21
Leave as soon as possible, police tell protesters
By China Daily
Sunday, July 21, 2019, 21:21 By China Daily

Protesters besiege the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Sunday evening. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY)

The police are conducting a clearance operation on Sunday evening to disperse radical protesters who had blocked roads, vandalized cars and buildings on Hong Kong Island.

In face of the escalating violence, the police issued a notice at 8 pm announcing that the operation would be imminent, saying they will start from the Western District towards the east. 

Police have told protesters on Hong Kong Island to leave as soon as possible — about two hours after hundreds of them began blocking main roads, paralyzing traffic in Admiralty and Central — the city’s prime business districts.

Police begin to clear protesters in Sai Wan, Hong Kong Island, after protesters besieged the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY) 

The police made the appeal at 7 pm, urging all participants who joined the latest protest against the Hong Kong government’s now-suspended extradition law amendment bill, to avoid staying in those areas and leave as soon as possible.

After having reached the procession’s finishing point designated by the police at Wan Chai around 4:30 pm from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, a large group of protesters continued marching towards Admiralty, blocking Harcourt Road at around 5 pm. 

Police warned that the blockage would mean danger to the participants themselves and all road users, and lead to serious traffic congestion. 

Road traffic in Admiralty and Central has been paralyzed, while traffic in Sheung Wan is very congested. Police also appealed to members of the public and drivers to avoid those areas.

Protesters put up metal barricades around the front gate of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Sunday evening. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY)

Due to the serious road congestion around Arsenal Street in Wan Chai, where the police headquarters is located, as well as around Des Voeux Road West in Western District, services at the police report room in Wan Chai and Western Division police stations have been suspended until further notice. Members of the public are urged to call the police 999 hotline in emergency cases. 

At around 7 pm, a group of protesters reached Sai Wan and surrounded the front gate of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Protesters flash laser pens at the eyes of a staff member of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, while besieging the office building. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY)

As masked protesters deviated from the approved route of the public procession and disrupted traffic at various locations on Hong Kong Island, their action was captured in live broadcasts by various news media. 

Shortly after protesters arrived at the Liaison Office building, a young man wearing a face mask damaged the CCTV cameras outside its gate with black paint. Walls outside the building and the liaison office’s official plaque were sprayed with black paint. 

Protesters spray black paint on CCTV cameras of the building of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY)

Some demonstrators also threw eggs at the national emblem hanging on the building’s front gate, while others erected metal barricades to block the building’s entrance, whilesome others aimed laser pointers at a staff member inside the building. 

Protesters set barriers outside the building of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (PHOTO BY CHINA DAILY)

At other locations, protesters were seen fortifying themselves with metal barricades as they had done in previous violent clasheswith the police. Some distributed equipment, including helmets and bottles, while many held umbrellas — weapons radical protesters have been using to confront the police. 

Businesses along the protest routes have been hard hit, with some stores forced to close for the day. At a fast-food chain store near Sheung Wan, protesters plastered its gate with protest signs.

 


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