Oct 20 Protests: Photos and Anecdotes
I watched from behind the sea of reporters aiming their cameras at the Tsim Sha Tsui police station as a young protester urinated at the gate. Police issued a warning via loudspeaker for the man to stop immediately. He responded by giving them the middle finger. A man, who had been spray-painting the police sign, ran back into the police station as the first round of tear gas was fired into a crowd of peaceful protesters.
After a few rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets from the station, some protesters hurled petrol bombs at the gates. They were promptly doused by a policeman with a hose. I walked towards the residential areas as I tried to shake off the tear gas’s sting radiating around my eyes. I was greeted by a scene of residents flooding from their buildings screaming verbal abuse at the police. As the police water cannon truck advanced at the head of the police formation, spraying stinging blue water as it accelerated, civilians on the sidewalks screamed.
(Water cannon truck shoots stinging blue water to disperse crowds of protesters.)
I barely escaped being sprayed by the truck by mere inches, but the reporter beside me wasn’t so lucky as he was sprayed with a torrent of the stinging liquid. As I sprinted down the winding alleyways of Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei, not knowing how far behind the riot police were, store owners were passing out free water bottles to everyone running, people chanted slogans from their houses, and people in restaurants held up signs in support.