Riot police clash with pro-democracy protesters on August 5 on the streets of Hong Kong (Image: Issac Lawrence/AFP)Riot police clash with pro-democracy protesters on August 5 on the streets of Hong Kong (Image: Issac Lawrence/AFP)

Hong Kong: Police battle protesters as strike paralyses Hong Kong

What started several months ago as demonstrations over an extradition bill that would have let people be sent to mainland China for trial have grown into a much broader backlash against the city government and its political masters in Beijing.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Monday almost halting the city with a general strike – police fired tear gas at protesters in multiple parts of Hong Kong on Monday after the city’s Beijing-backed leader warned its prosperity was at risk.

Amid extensive disruptions to trains and traffic, tens of thousands of demonstrators fanned out across Hong Kong, spreading pockets of activism to most of its main three regions: Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

The protests surpassed earlier shows of dissent in scale and intensity, seemingly stoked by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam’s refusal once again to meet any of the protesters’ demands, while warning of an “extremely dangerous situation”.

Police stations were besieged and roads occupied.

In the evening, a group of men armed with sticks tried to attack the black-clad protesters in the North Point district.

Riot police used tear gas in districts including Wong Tai Sin, Tin Shui Wai, Tai Po, and Admiralty close to the city’s government headquarters.

Speaking to the media for the first time in two weeks, Lam remained defiant, rejecting calls to resign, condemning violence and saying the government would be resolute.

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