After night of clashes, Hong Kong braces for fresh rally

HONG KONG (AFP) – Protesters gathered at a stadium yesterday as Hong Kong braced for more anti-government rallies, a day after clashes returned to the city’s streets following several days of relative calm.

Hong Kong has been gripped by three months of street demonstrations but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement.

The MTR – the city’s metro – is the latest Hong Kong business to be rebuked by the public.

Yesterday the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan, the second day of station closures in a row.

Despite this, protesters continued to gather at Kwai Chung stadium in the pouring rain before beginning the march to Tsuen Wan.

A second rally of a few hundred, some of them family members of police, was also held yesterday afternoon.

The city’s officers are often the focus of protesters’ anger because of their perceived heavy-handling of the rallies.

Ten people were left in hospital after last Saturday’s clashes – two in a serious condition – staff said, without detailing if they were police or protesters.

Last Saturday’s clashes saw police baton-charge protesters and fire tear gas, while demonstrators threw rocks and bottles later into the night in a working-class neighbourhood.