400 protesters in Hong Kong arrested after thousands join New Year's Day rally – NBCNews.com, NBC News
HONG KONG – Around 400 protesters were arrested after a police-approved march attended by tens of thousands on New Year’s Day escalated into violence, authorities said.
The arrests, which police said were for unlawful assembly and possession of offensive weapons, came after officers fired several rounds of tear gas, asanti-government protestsin the semi-autonomous city continued into the new year.
Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK showed pepper spray and tear gas being deployed against demonstrators in the busy commercial district of Wan Chai Wednesday afternoon as protesters marched from the city’s Victoria Park and into the central business district.
Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong continue their demands inAnthony Kwa n / Getty Images Hong Kong police said in a statement that some protesters started hurling Molotov cocktails as well as vandalizing multiple banks and shops along the route of a public procession, which forced them to prematurely end the march and tell the crowds to disperse.
But in a further escalation Wednesday evening, some protesters dug in, barricading roads, starting fires and pointed lasers at officers, prompting police to deploy a water cannon and fire more tear gas.
Earlier in the day, citizens young and old marched in a largely peaceful rally, carrying signs that read “five demands, hold on till the end” and “never give up.” Many were wearing face masks to conceal their identities.
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