Tens of thousands of people gathered across Hong Kong on Friday to mourn a 22-year-old student who died after falling from a multi-story parking garage after police fired tear gas at protesters on Sunday.
Many lit candles in memory of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) student Chow Tsz-lok, while others held up his photograph at ceremonies in various locations across the city, including at the Tseung Kwan O parking garage where he died.
Amid growing public anger at police violence against the months-old anti-government protest movement, many have blamed Chow’s death on the police, after surveillance footage from the garage showed a man being chased and pushed by a larger man shortly before Chow fell.
As police turned up at the impromptu gatherings, protesters set up barricades and started fires, lobbing bricks and other projectiles at officers, hurling insults, and shouting slogans.
A live fire “warning” shot was reported in Yau Ma Tei, while tear gas was deployed in Aberdeen and Tsuen Wan districts, government broadcaster RTHK reported late on Friday.
“Protesters set an electrical control box outside Sheung Tak Plaza in Tseung Kwan O on fire,” the station reported. “The box emitted multiple bangs and spewed out a steady stream of black smoke, before firefighters arrived to douse the flames. A number of street lights subsequently went out.”
Crowds gathered in the downtown Central business district, the shopping districts of Causeway Bay and Tsimshatsui, in the New Territories town of Shatin, and Kwun Tong district, near the container port.
The city’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) responded by shutting down train services on several lines and through several major stations including Shatin, Causeway Bay, and Mong Kok.
Protesters are calling for a general strike on Nov. 11.
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Reported by Man Hoi-tsan, Lu Xi, and Lau Siu-fung for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
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