Protesters in Hong Kong vandalise subway station and storm shopping centre

Protesters in Hong Kong vandalise subway station and storm shopping centre

Protesters in Hong Kong have smashed windows in a subway station and a shopping centre following the arrest of pro-democracy politicians.

Hong Kong is in the sixth month of protests that began over a proposed China extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy and other grievances.

Authorities closed the subway stop in the north-eastern district of Sha Tin after protesters broke windows and damaged a ticket machine. Police in riot gear stood guard but there was no indication of arrests.

In a separate incident, about three dozen protesters stormed through a shopping centre in the north-western district of Tsuen Mun. Most were peaceful but one protester used a club to smash windows while others overturned tables in a restaurant.

Police officers stand guard on a road in Hong Kong (Dita Alangkara/AP)
Police officers stand guard on a road in Hong Kong (Dita Alangkara/AP)

Meanwhile, the newspaper Apple Daily showed video on its website of police in riot gear arresting a man in the western district Tsuen Wan. The newspaper said police took away four men and one woman suspected of vandalising shops.

Activists complain that the government of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Beijing are eroding the autonomy and Western-style civil liberties promised to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to China in 1997.

On Saturday, police announced the arrest of the six politicians on charges of obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting over the extradition bill. All were freed on bail.

The arrests were made a day after protesters mourned the death of a university student who fell from a car park when police fired tear gas at protesters.

People attend a vigil for a student in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)
People attend a vigil for a student in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)

The circumstances of the death are unclear, but many accuse police of using heavy-handed tactics, including widespread use of tear gas and pepper spray. Police denied pushing the student during the incident on Monday or delaying emergency treatment.

The territory is preparing for elections on November 24 that are viewed as a measure of public sentiment towards the government.

Pro-democracy politicians criticised the government clampdown as an attempt to provoke violence following the student’s death to justify cancelling or postponing the elections.

Violence erupted late Friday when protesters took to the streets following memorial events in multiple locations to mark the student’s death.

More than 3,300 people have been arrested since the start of the protest movement.

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