There were severe public transit disruptions across the city, a day after demonstrators staged a fiery standoff against the police near a university
A territory-wide obstruction protest has caused traffic chaos and school suspensions in Hong Kong for the third consecutive day Wednesday, Agencies report.
Protesters set up makeshift roadblocks and scattered debris on major thoroughfares in various districts in the early hours, seriously affecting rush-hour road traffic and forcing the cancellation of bus services.
Two major subway lines were closed and other services were partly suspended in the morning. A carriage sustaining extensive damages was stopped at the University Station, which leads to the Chinese University where a serious clash between police and protesters happened late Tuesday.
Protesters clashed with police for hours on a road entrance to the university. They threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets in return. As many as 1,000 tear gas canisters were fired and some 60 protesters were injured, local media reported.
In the downtown business district of Central, protesters staged a lunchtime demonstration, blocking off traffic on the major roads there. Some of the crowd rallied at the building where the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is located. Police arrived and detained at least three people, including a man who was seen bleeding from the head.
Police left after reopening the roads, but they were blocked by protesters again.
Although government leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday schools would not be suspended so as not to give in to the protesters, the Education Bureau said Wednesday parents should decide on their own whether to send their children to school. It later announced that all school classes will be suspended Thursday.
More than 10 universities have also suspended classes.
Wednesday night horseracing was also suspended due to safety concerns.
“We have witnessed violent damage to rail carriages, a petrol bomb attack on a moving rail car, arson and road blockages at some 30 areas (Tuesday),” Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung told reporters. “The government is highly concerned about the current situation and we urge the citizens to stay away from, reject and cut ties with violence.”
“Whatever your beliefs are, whatever you are pursuing, resorting to illegal acts like violence, destruction or random attacks on people is not the way and is doomed to fail. The government stresses again that we are dedicated, confident and capable of stopping violence and we fully support the police force in strictly enforcing the law,” he said.