After more than seven hours of violent confrontation with the police on Saturday, a hard-core group of several hundred protesters at an illegal rally in Yuen Long finally left the "war zone" at around 11:15 pm following a late night holding out inside the railway station against police efforts to disperse them.
Earlier in 10 pm, many more have left the scene on special trains that were made available by the railway operator free of charge to speedily move the many thousands of protesters who elected to leave.
According to the police, those joined the unlawful assembly have violated the Public Order Ordinance and are liable to a jail term of up to five years.
According to Hospital Authority, 17 people were injured with two in serious condition during the illegal protest as of 11 pm.
The rally which failed to secure the police notice of no objection began, like many other protest marches before, peacefully. Some protesters were seen standing in line outside a well-known cake shop to buy the traditional "bride" cakes, a local specialty.
But in the late afternoon the radical protesters, wearing face masks and helmets, began marching toward the Nam Pin Wai and Sai Pin Wai villages apparently looking for a fight to avenge the beating of some of their fellow protesters at the railway station last Sunday by a group of masked men wearing white shirts. Some of these attackers were seen fleeing to the villages before the police arrived at the scene that night.
To avoid further trouble, the police began pushing back the protesters with tear gas and the occasional shots of rubber bullets. They were met with stiff resistance. The protesters built barricades with water-filled barriers, iron gates and rubbish bins in numerous locations in the beleaguered town.
As in past protests, the protesters were fully prepared for the confrontation with the police. They were all wearing gas masts, goggles, helmets and the ubiquitous umbrellas to fend off tear gas, hide their identities and, when needed, used as weapons of attack.
At one time, the protesters besieged the local police station and plastered the walls with slogan of protests.
The Yuen Long unlawful protest, one of the largest since mid-June, was an answer to the savage indiscriminate attacks on protesters and passengers in the train cars and the platform at Yuen Long station last Sunday. The attack, causing injury to 45 people, was widely denounced and 12 people involved in the incident were arrested so far. Some of them were alleged to have triad connections.24 hour wristbandcheap silicone wristbands for fundraisingcustom camo wristbandswholesale personalized braceletscheap silicone bracelets no minimum