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Hong Kong's 2020 begins with violent protests

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:02s - Published < > Embed
Hong Kong's 2020 begins with violent protests

Hong Kong's 2020 begins with violent protests

About 400 protesters were arrested on New Year's Day in Hong Kong after police fired teargas and water cannons at the crowd.

The pro-democracy protest had been peaceful during the afternoon but descended into chaos.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Hong Kong's 2020 begins with violent protests

Hong Kong's News Years Day saw a peaceful protest in the tens of thousands later spiral into chaos.

Protest organizers say over one million people marched on Wednesday (January 1).

Police put the figure at 60,000.

The march gave way to violence on Hong Kong island.

Hundreds of protesters formed road blocks, set fires and threw petrol bombs.

Police say they arrested nearly 400 people.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG SENIOR POLICE SUPERINTENDENT, NG LOK CHUN, SAYING: "But some of the rioters, they refused to leave and continue to throw hard objects at our officers.

At this juncture, some of my officers gave warnings to these rioters not to throw hard objects, including bricks, including paint bombs and also water bottles." Protesters are pushing authorities for more concessions.

That includes an independent inquiry into the police and amnesty for those arrested over months of protests.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG PROTESTER, 32-YEAR-OLD ELOPETH CHAN, SAYING: "We are still here today because the government is not responding to our five demands, and most importantly I think most of the people are very fed up with the violence of the police, so the five demands is driving us to be here today".

Wednesday also saw global bank HSBC targetted by protesters' rage.

In the Wanchai and Central districts-some sprayed an HSBC branch with graffiti, its cash machines were smashed and burned.

HSBC is the latest brand targeted by the protesters.

Last month, police froze millions of dollars of a fund raised to support the protesters.

Protesters say there's a link between HSBC, the frozen accounts, and the recent arrests of four people tied to a fundraising group.

The bank denies any connection.

Demonstrations have increased in violence in recent months.

Protesters promise they won't slow down in 2020.




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