Hongkongers staged protests on Oct. 13 throughout all 18 of the city’s districts, as demonstrations against the pro-Beijing government extended to their 19th consecutive weekend.
Meanwhile, police ramped up their tactics, even detaining citizens who weren’t wearing masks or black shirts—attire typically worn by protesters.
Hongkongers called their protest on Oct. 13, “Fighting Bravely Everywhere as One Family,” appearing at major shopping centers throughout the city at around 1 p.m. local time to call on the government to answer their five demands.
After initially expressing opposition to a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow the Chinese regime to transfer individuals to face trial in Communist Party-controlled courts, protesters have since called for universal suffrage in city elections; establishing an independent commission of inquiry into police conduct and use of force during protests; releasing and exonerating arrested protesters; and retracting the government’s previous characterization of protests as riots.
While some people folded origami cranes at a rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade in Kowloon district to express their demands, dozens of older protesters on Oct. 12 began a 48-hour sit-in near the Hong Kong police headquarters in Wan Chai district in support of younger protesters.
The seniors explained that the 48 hours represents the maximum length of time that police can detain protesters without pressing charges.
Protesters are also seeking answers in the death of Chan Yin Lam, a 15-year-old Hong Kong girl whose body was found at sea on Sept. 22. She had gone missing on Sept. 19 after attending many recent protests.
Because she was a swimming athlete at school, many protesters suspect foul play—possibly by police. But during an Oct. 11 press conference, police rejected the claim, calling it an attempt to “discredit” the police force. While the cause of death is still to be determined, police have ruled out suspicious activity, a spokesperson said. The girl was seen in surveillance camera footage walking barefoot toward the water on Sept. 19.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam canceled a meeting with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after the latter refused to have it behind closed doors.
As more protesters appeared at shopping malls and playgrounds in mid-afternoon, police showed up to arrest them, including several local residents who weren’t dressed like protesters.
Across different neighborhoods, people dressed in black T-shirts and masks—in defiance of a recently enacted law prohibiting people from wearing masks at public gatherings—began to gather, clogging roads and sidewalks in an attempt to hinder police from making arrests.
Before long, police began to fire tear gas.
In the Tsuen Wan district, police fired at least two tear gas canisters without warning people in advance with their color-coded flags.
Hong Kong’s subway operator MTR closed down several stations in the afternoon and suspended some service after clashes broke out. Protesters in different districts wouldn’t leave and continued their protests by moving around the neighborhoods.
Local media reported that a protester stabbed a police officer in the neck with a utility knife in the Kwun Tong district, at around 6:45 p.m. The suspect, along with a possible accomplice, were arrested. The police officer was sent to the hospital.
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced that by 11 p.m., 36 Hongkongers were taken to the hospital for treatment; two men and one woman were said to be in critical condition.
As of press time, police hadn’t announced the total number of arrests.
The Hong Kong bureau of The Epoch Times contributed to this report.