A Hong Kong legislator was repeatedly sprayed in the face by police with pepper spray during a protest on Monday night.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed Hong Kong streets for a New Year’s Day protest march as the months-long protest movement extended into 2020 with further violence between police and demonstrators.
Police said they arrested some 400 people for unlawful assembly and carrying offensive weapons as hard-line, black-clad youths broke off from the main group of marchers and attacked banks and ATM machines with spray paint, hammers and petrol bombs. They smashed crossing lights, ripped bricks from sidewalks and barricaded roads in the financial district.
Police used pepper spray, tear gas and a water cannon to drive off the demonstrators, although a government statement said officers were “deploying the minimum necessary force.”
The protests began in June over proposed legislation that could have allowed residents to be extradited to China. The legislation was withdrawn, but not before the protests expanded to wider calls for reforms.
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