Hong Kong police fight with protesters amid rising tensions
HONG KONG — Police in Hong Kong fought with protesters on Sunday as they broke up a demonstration by thousands of people demanding the resignation of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s chief executive and an investigation into complaints of police violence.
The protest in the northern district of Sha Tin was peaceful for most of the day, but scuffles broke out when police started clearing streets after nightfall. Some protesters retreated into a shopping complex where they and police hit each other with clubs and umbrellas.
Police appeared to arrest some people, but reporters couldn’t see how many. The violence wound down toward midnight as the remaining protesters left the area.
The demonstration added to an outpouring of grievances this year against the former British colony’s leaders. Critics complain they are eroding Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy and are more responsive to the Beijing government than to the territory’s people. The mainland promised Hong Kong a “high degree of autonomy” for 50 years after its 1997 return to China.
Police on Saturday broke up a protest in a separate area of Hong Kong complaining about an influx of mainland traders.
On Sunday, some protesters called for genuinely democratic voting in Hong Kong elections. A few demanded independence.