The night before Christmas was marked with tear gas and rubber bullets as police tried to disperse protesters gathered near the city’s harbor front, signaling a renewed escalation in the conflict after a few weeks of relative calm.
Hundreds gathered in the tourist-heavy neighborhood of Tsim Tsa Tsui to chant “fight for Hong Kong” and “five demands.” Around 9 p.m., riot police fired several rounds of tear gas near the Peninsula hotel, a luxury British colonial-era establishment that has been hit hard by falling numbers of tourists as months of protests drive the city into recession. As people fled, one protester threw an object at police, prompting one officer to fire rubber bullets.
An 18-year-old university student who identified herself as Rainbow Leung said she ran over after dinner to show solidarity with other locals fighting for their freedom.
“We want to support Hong Kong and stand against the violence,” Ms. Leung said. She canceled plans to attend an orchestra performance on Christmas Day to continue protesting. “The city is more important,” she added.
— Rob Roy (@ROSMARINXXX) December 24, 2019