Hong Kong, China – Protests in Hong Kong reached new heights of violence, with bomb-throwing rioters seizing control of university campuses and pushing out police while authorities admit that the riot-ravaged city hangs by a thread.
Demonstrators armed to the teeth with Molotov cocktails, javelins, and (in one case, at least) a chainsaw have seized control of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), pushing riot police off the campus on Tuesday night and leaving a shocking amount of destruction in their wake, RT reported.
Videos and photos posted to social media show the rioters fortifying their position with barricades and setting “huge” fires on the campus.
Classes were unsurprisingly canceled at CUHK and other universities around the city, some of which also played host to clashes between the demonstrators – still dubbed ‘pro-democracy activists’ in the media despite the increasing levels of violence on display – and police. On at least one campus, rioters stole sporting equipment including javelins and shot puts and weaponized them.
An attempt at negotiations between the CUHK president and police failed, though reports of why this happened varied depending on the source.
While many who support the protesters framed the clashes as police entering university campuses unprovoked to terrorize innocent students, or claimed police are not allowed to enter universities, Hong Kong Chief Superintendent Kelvin Kong Wing-Cheung said they were merely pursuing violent rioters who had already thrown bricks and Molotovs at police.
“Over the past two days, our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Rumors swirled on social media that the police were targeting CUHK specifically because it was the site of Hong Kong’s internet exchange, but this was not confirmed.
The destruction was not limited to college campuses – a number of metro stations were forced to close after being attacked by rioters, and demonstrators battled police all over the city, wielding weapons from bricks pried from the road to multiple catapults reported near the city center. Rioters were seen in TV footage dropping large objects from overpasses and nearly hitting drivers below.
Even mainstream media, typically sympathetic to the protesters, has taken note of the increase in violence, unable to ignore footage of a violent “pro-democracy” mob setting a man on fire after dousing him in petrol. Another protester was shot, allegedly after trying to grab a policeman’s gun.
Monday in Hong Kong, a man who openly disagreed with radical protesters was poured gasoline over by rioters and set on fire. Radical protesters in Hong Kong have started behaving like ISIS members. pic.twitter.com/Hugh5ymnr7
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 11, 2019