by Audrey Conklin
A young Hong Kong protester was shot by police Tuesday during a protest against China’s celebration of 70 years under communism, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Demonstrations, which have been ongoing since Saturday, escalated Tuesday night with fires, tear gas, street fights and at least 30 arrests. More than 40% of the region’s train stations shut down, SCMP reported.
“A large group of rioters was attacking police officers in Tsuen Wan,” Police Senior Superintendent Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan said in a statement. “Police officers warned them, but they were still attacking police. A police officer’s life was seriously endangered. In order to save his and other officers’ lives, they fired at the attacker.”
“The police force really did not want to see anyone being injured, so we feel very sad about this. We warn rioters to stop breaking the law immediately, as we will strictly enforce the law,” she added.
A Facebook Live video appears to show the 18-year-old protester complaining of pain in his chest after being shot.
#荃灣【左胸中彈直擊】1610 在荃灣大河道中混亂期間警員拔槍近距離（約一個身位）直射向示威者，其後該示威者中槍倒地。警方確認其中實彈。傷者傷勢：https://www.facebook.com/387603714763860/posts/1158937190963838?sfns=mo[Suspected Live Ammunition at Protest] 1613 Demonstrators In the middle of Dahe Road in the Tsuen Wan were hit by real bullets on the left side of the chest. They kept shouting: "My heart hurts a lot" and there is a lot of blood flowing out of my heart.———————————#國殤日 #十一 #示威 #hongkongprotest #反送中 #香港警察 #hongkongpolice #watercannons #香港人 #遊行 #上街 #示威者 #勇武 #抗爭 #香港遊行 #催淚彈 #teargas #武器 #速龍 #防暴警察 #和理非 #城大 #cityu #protest #freehongkong #政府 #城大編委 #逆權運動 #社會運動
Posted by 香港城市大學學生會編輯委員會 Editorial Board, CityU SU on Tuesday, October 1, 2019
The man was taken to the hospital, but his condition is not known, according to the Wall Street Journal.
At least 51 people ranging in ages from 11 to 75 were wounded, two critically, across the region Tuesday, according to SCMP citing Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong.
Police said on Monday that they were deploying 6,000 officers and warned of protesters’ “very dangerous” plans to protest on Tuesday, adding that weekend demonstrations brought protesters “one step closer to terrorism,” the SCMP reported.
Law enforcement also encouraged the public to stay indoors in a Tuesday Facebook post, according to SCMP.
“Currently, there are riots across Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories,” the post read. “Rioters have started fires and committed mass property damage, injuring many people. … Police urgently appeal to every member of the public to stay in safe places, avoid going outdoors and stay tuned to the latest situation.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a nationally televised Tuesday speech in Tiananmen Square that the government strives to maintain Hong Kong and China’s “one country, two systems” rule, according to Reuters.
“On our journey forward, we must uphold the principles of peaceful reunification and one country, two systems; maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macau … and continue to strive for the motherland’s complete reunification,” Xi said during the speech.
Tuesday’s protest comes after approximately four months of demonstrations across Hong Kong, which were sparked by a since-withdrawn extradition bill that would have sent Hong Kong residents convicted of crimes to mainland China for trial.
The bill was one of five demands made by Hongkongers who have kept the protests going. The other four include Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality, the release of those who have been arrested and more democratic freedoms, according to CNN.
– – –
Audrey Conklin is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Hong Kong Protests” by 香港城市大學學生會編輯委員會 Editorial Board, CityU SU.