Hong Kong police fire tear gas to disperse protesters

Photographers flee tear gas fired by police in Hong Kong on October 27, 2019.
Hong Kong police again used tear gas and rubber bullets on Sunday to try to disperse an unauthorized pro-democracy demonstration in the shopping and tourist streets of the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula.

Since the beginning of June, the former British colony has been through its most serious political crisis since its return to China in 1997, with almost daily demonstrations and actions.

It is this time the southern tip of Kowloon, on the spectacular bay of Hong Kong, which was the scene of clashes between police and protesters, including the streets overlooking the emblematic Peninsula hotel in the neighborhood Tsim Sha Tsui.

Many demonstrators wore masks, despite the ban imposed by the executive of the semi-autonomous region. But few had donned the classic paraphernalia of radicals such as hard hats and gas masks.

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The tension was palpable early in the afternoon when police deployed in large numbers in the streets near the waterfront where was to start a demonstration not authorized by the local government.

The police began to search people, causing scenes of confrontation as the crowd grew bigger, some dealing with the police "triads", the traditional Chinese mafias.

Tear gas and rubber bullets were fired in three different locations, and the clashes forced the crowd to disperse.

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In a show now recurrent in Hong Kong, protesters have erected barricades of fortune to block traffic on some arteries.

They have unscrewed metal barriers to close the access to the "Avenue of Stars", promenade on the waterfront to the glory of Hong Kong cinema.

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The local executive, who offered no way out of this crisis, largely left his police to respond to protesters, resulting in increasingly frequent confrontations with radicals who do not hesitate to use cocktails Molotov, to vandalize pro-Beijing businesses, even to attack people who do not agree with them.

Hong Kong Secretary of Financial Affairs Paul Chan warned on a blog Sunday that the protests could lead to negative growth.

According to him, "it seems extremely difficult to achieve a goal of zero to 1%" growth.

Figures of the pro-democracy movement have also been the target of attacks by strangers, undermining the reputation of stability and security of the former British colony.

In recent days, the demonstrations were not as massive as at the beginning of the month. The movement has mostly taken the form of spontaneous actions that remain almost daily.

SEE ALSO: 'It doesn't matter if it's Christmas': Hong Kong pro-democracy activists keep up protests

"We may feel there are fewer people out there, but it's just that people are using different methods to support the movement," said a 23-year-old protester calling himself Chan.

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