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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Demonstrations, Protests and Riots"

Trump Says He’s ‘Standing’ With Xi (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters)

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-diplo1-facebookJumbo Trump Says He’s ‘Standing’ With Xi (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters) Xi Jinping United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

WASHINGTON — President Trump refused to commit Friday to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress to support pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, saying that he supported the protesters but that President Xi Jinping of China was “a friend of mine.”

The bill comes as Mr. Trump is trying to strike a trade deal with China, one of the central goals of his presidency. It puts him the delicate position of trying to balance a tricky trade negotiation with China and congressional demands for action to support the pro-democracy protests.

“I stand with Hong Kong,” he said during a nearly hourlong interview on the morning program “Fox & Friends.” “I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things we want to do. But we’re also in the process of making the largest trade deal in history.”

He claimed that China’s government would have “obliterated” Hong Kong and killed “thousands” of people there were it not for him.

Mr. Trump also spoke warmly about Mr. Xi.

“He is a friend of mine. He is an incredible guy,” Mr. Trump said.

Security forces in Hong Kong have escalated their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters this month, prompting Congress this week to approve a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act it had been considering for months.

The legislation would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses in the semiautonomous island territory and place Hong Kong’s special economic status under greater scrutiny.

The bill comes at a delicate time in United States-China relations. Mr. Trump’s trade negotiations with Beijing have stalled before an important Dec. 15 deadline, when the president must decide whether to issue yet more tariffs on Chinese goods.

The president announced on Oct. 11 that he had reached a trade agreement with China, but in the weeks since the two countries have continued to spar over its terms. Chinese negotiators insist that Mr. Trump must roll back more of the tariffs he has placed on more than $360 billion of their products, while American negotiators say China’s concessions still fall short.

In the interview, Mr. Trump credited his trade negotiation with Mr. Xi as the reason that China had not already extinguished the protests with a sweeping and violent crackdown.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump has typically avoided addressing the escalating battle between pro-democracy demonstrators and security forces in Hong Kong, and in June, he privately assured the Chinese president that he would not publicly back the protesters as long as trade talks were progressing.

At times, Mr. Trump and other administration officials have warned that increasing violence from the Chinese authorities would have wider repercussions in the relationship between Washington and Beijing, including in the trade talks.

Analysts say there are many reasons China’s government has refrained from an all-out violent crackdown like the one that snuffed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. They include the risk of an enormous international backlash and lasting damage to Hong Kong’s powerhouse economy.

If Mr. Trump decides not to sign the legislation on Hong Kong, it will still probably pass into law.

Congress approved the bill with an overwhelming majority, meaning that it could easily overcome a presidential veto, in what would be the first override of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Mr. Trump could also choose not to sign the bill without vetoing it, in which case it would become law on Dec. 3.

Either course of action is likely to generate significant blowback from members of Congress who have urged the president to take a tough stance on China, including Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida and a sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

Speaking on CNBC on Thursday, Mr. Rubio said his understanding was that the president would sign it. “There was a unanimous vote in the Senate and only one vote against it in the House,” Mr. Rubio said.

But Mr. Trump has twice declined to say whether he would support the legislation when questioned this week. And at times he has responded to personal requests from Mr. Xi by offering concessions that have angered Mr. Rubio and other China critics in Congress.

In May 2018, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was working with Mr. Xi to give ZTE, a Chinese company the United States had punished for violating Iran sanctions, “a way to get back into business.” His administration has also repeatedly waived tough measures on the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, against the urging of Mr. Rubio and others lawmakers.

Mr. Trump’s interview on Friday provoked a swift response from some who have encouraged the president’s tough trade posture on China.

“If he does veto this bill, sacrificing American values in the process, Congress should immediately and overwhelmingly override,” said Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents steel companies and workers.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, took aim on Friday at Mr. Trump’s stance, suggesting that he was deferring to Mr. Xi at the expense of human rights.

“Make no mistake: President Trump’s words today do not reflect what the American people or the Congress think about President Xi’s oppressive policies toward the people of Hong Kong,” he said. “For a guy who promised to be tough on China, President Trump’s reliable deference to President Xi is all the more bewildering.”

In a news conference on Thursday, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said China condemned and opposed the passage of the bill.

“We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late, and take measures to prevent this act from becoming law,” he said. “China will have to take strong countermeasures if the U.S. is bent on having its own way.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters)

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-diplo1-facebookJumbo Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters) Xi Jinping United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

WASHINGTON — President Trump would not commit Friday to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress to support pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in an interview on Fox News.

He also claimed that China’s government would have “obliterated” Hong Kong and killed “thousands” of people there were it not for him.

And he spoke warmly about China’s president, Xi Jinping, whom he is trying to coax into striking a trade deal that has become one of the central goals of his presidency.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi,” Mr. Trump said during a nearly hour long interview on the morning program “Fox & Friends.” “He is a friend of mine. He is an incredible guy.

But he added: “I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things we want to do. But we’re also in the process of making the largest trade deal in history.”

The legislation approved by Congress this week would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses in the semiautonomous island territory and place Hong Kong’s special economic status under greater scrutiny.

Security forces in Hong Kong have escalated their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters this month, prompting Congress to approve a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act it had been considering for months.

In the interview, Mr. Trump said that the protests were a complicating factor in his trade negotiations with Beijing, which have stalled ahead of an important Dec. 15 deadline, when Mr. Trump must decide whether to issue yet more tariffs on Chinese goods.

But he also took credit for the fact that China had not extinguished the protests with a sweeping and violent crackdown.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump and other administration officials have warned that an overwhelming Chinese response would have wider repercussions in the relationship between China and Beijing, including in the trade talks.

But analysts say there are many reasons China’s government has refrained from an all-out violent crackdown like the one that snuffed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. They include the risk of an enormous international backlash and lasting damage to Hong Kong’s powerhouse economy.

Congress passed its Hong Kong bill with an overwhelming majority, meaning that it could probably override a presidential veto easily, the first override of his presidency. Mr. Trump could also choose not to sign the bill without vetoing it, in which case it would also become law.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters)

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-diplo1-facebookJumbo Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters) Xi Jinping United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

WASHINGTON — President Trump would not commit Friday to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress to support pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in an interview on Fox News.

He also claimed that China’s government would have “obliterated” Hong Kong and killed “thousands” of people there were it not for him.

And he spoke warmly about China’s president, Xi Jinping, whom he is trying to coax into striking a trade deal that has become one of the central goals of his presidency.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi,” Mr. Trump said during a nearly hour long interview on the morning program “Fox & Friends.” “He is a friend of mine. He is an incredible guy.

But he added: “I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things we want to do. But we’re also in the process of making the largest trade deal in history.”

The legislation approved by Congress this week would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses in the semiautonomous island territory and place Hong Kong’s special economic status under greater scrutiny.

Security forces in Hong Kong have escalated their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters this month, prompting Congress to approve a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act it had been considering for months.

In the interview, Mr. Trump said that the protests were a complicating factor in his trade negotiations with Beijing, which have stalled ahead of an important Dec. 15 deadline, when Mr. Trump must decide whether to issue yet more tariffs on Chinese goods.

But he also took credit for the fact that China had not extinguished the protests with a sweeping and violent crackdown.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump and other administration officials have warned that an overwhelming Chinese response would have wider repercussions in the relationship between China and Beijing, including in the trade talks.

But analysts say there are many reasons China’s government has refrained from an all-out violent crackdown like the one that snuffed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. They include the risk of an enormous international backlash and lasting damage to Hong Kong’s powerhouse economy.

Congress passed its Hong Kong bill with an overwhelming majority, meaning that it could probably override a presidential veto easily, the first override of his presidency. Mr. Trump could also choose not to sign the bill without vetoing it, in which case it would also become law.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters)

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-diplo1-facebookJumbo Trump ‘Stands With Xi’ (and With Hong Kong’s Protesters) Xi Jinping United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

WASHINGTON — President Trump would not commit Friday to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress to support pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in an interview on Fox News.

He also claimed that China’s government would have “obliterated” Hong Kong and killed “thousands” of people there were it not for him.

And he spoke warmly about China’s president, Xi Jinping, whom he is trying to coax into striking a trade deal that has become one of the central goals of his presidency.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi,” Mr. Trump said during a nearly hour long interview on the morning program “Fox & Friends.” “He is a friend of mine. He is an incredible guy.

But he added: “I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things we want to do. But we’re also in the process of making the largest trade deal in history.”

The legislation approved by Congress this week would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses in the semiautonomous island territory and place Hong Kong’s special economic status under greater scrutiny.

Security forces in Hong Kong have escalated their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters this month, prompting Congress to approve a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act it had been considering for months.

In the interview, Mr. Trump said that the protests were a complicating factor in his trade negotiations with Beijing, which have stalled ahead of an important Dec. 15 deadline, when Mr. Trump must decide whether to issue yet more tariffs on Chinese goods.

But he also took credit for the fact that China had not extinguished the protests with a sweeping and violent crackdown.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump and other administration officials have warned that an overwhelming Chinese response would have wider repercussions in the relationship between China and Beijing, including in the trade talks.

But analysts say there are many reasons China’s government has refrained from an all-out violent crackdown like the one that snuffed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. They include the risk of an enormous international backlash and lasting damage to Hong Kong’s powerhouse economy.

Congress passed its Hong Kong bill with an overwhelming majority, meaning that it could probably override a presidential veto easily, the first override of his presidency. Mr. Trump could also choose not to sign the bill without vetoing it, in which case it would also become law.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped at Polytechnic University as Court Overturns Mask Ban

Police officers on Monday cornered hundreds of student protesters who occupied a Hong Kong university, offering the demonstrators one way out: drop your weapons and surrender or be met with a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets.

For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

By The New York Times

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164602677_ccb4271a-70e7-4c3b-aae7-2cb9fd2fd24b-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped at Polytechnic University as Court Overturns Mask Ban Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Police officers on Monday seemed to block all routes out of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all of their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets.

The students on Monday afternoon tried unsuccessfully to rush a police cordon only to be pushed back into the campus. Despite running out of options, the students fear that following police instructions to “drop their weapons” and leave through one designated exit will result in their arrest.

The protesters, many of them university and high school students, have occupied the campus for a week. On Sunday night and well into Monday morning they clashed with the police in one of the most violent confrontations in months of conflict.

At least 500 protesters remained on campus by Monday afternoon, after the police tried to enter the campus that morning but were pushed back.

Westlake Legal Group Sequence-06-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped at Polytechnic University as Court Overturns Mask Ban Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Six Months of Hong Kong Protests. How Did We Get Here?

The protests started as peaceful marches and rallies against an unpopular bill. Then came dozens of rounds of tear gas and a government that refused to back down.

By nightfall, about 100 people staged a sit-in directly in front of the police cordon near the university, including women who appeared to be mothers of trapped protesters sobbing and being comforted by others.

“Most of the people here are parents,” said Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker who joined the rally. “They realize once their children get out they will be immediately arrested. They just want to take a look at their kid and see if he or she is O.K.”

Conditions on the campus have grown increasingly desperate with injured protesters unable to receive treatment, Owan Li, a student council member, told reporters. Student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by a stinging dye shot from a police water cannon.

Areas near the university had the feel of a battle zone, with streets engulfed by tear gas and fires.

Scores were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies responding to calls for help evacuating protesters.

The police said that they arranged for Red Cross volunteers to enter the campus in the afternoon and provide first aid to the injured, and that the force would assist those who needed to go to the hospital “before further investigation,” implying that arrests would wait until after their treatments.

Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker who was in touch with social workers, said that some of the young people trapped inside were “close to breaking down.”

The police said 154 people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 4,491 since the protests started in June.

The city’s High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government’s ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers.

The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O.

In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory’s laws.

“The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law,” the court said in its ruling.

Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law as a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions.

“The judgment affirms the importance of separation of powers and fundamental freedoms under our constitutional order,” said Simon Young, a professor at the University of Hong Kong Law School.

Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped on Campus as Court Overturns Mask Ban

Police officers on Monday cornered hundreds of student protesters who occupied a Hong Kong university, offering the demonstrators one way out: drop your weapons and surrender or be met with a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets.

For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

By The New York Times

Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all of their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets.

The students on Monday afternoon tried unsuccessfully to rush a police cordon only to be pushed back into the campus. Despite running out of options, the students fear that following police instructions to “drop their weapons” and leave through one designated exit will result in their arrest.

The protesters, many of them university and high school students, have occupied the campus for a week. On Sunday night and well into Monday morning they clashed with the police in one of the most violent confrontations in months of conflict.

At least 500 protesters remained on campus by Monday afternoon, after the police tried to enter the campus that morning but were pushed back.

Westlake Legal Group Sequence-06-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped on Campus as Court Overturns Mask Ban Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Six Months of Hong Kong Protests. How Did We Get Here?

The protests started as peaceful marches and rallies against an unpopular bill. Then came dozens of rounds of tear gas and a government that refused to back down.

By nightfall, about 100 people staged a sit-in directly in front of the police cordon near the university, including women who appeared to be mothers of trapped protesters sobbing and being comforted by others.

“Most of the people here are parents,” said Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker who joined the rally. “They realize once their children get out they will be immediately arrested. They just want to take a look at their kid and see if he or she is O.K.”

Conditions on the campus have grown increasingly desperate with injured protesters unable to receive treatment, Owan Li, a student council member, told reporters. Student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by a stinging dye shot from a police water cannon.

Areas near the university had the feel of a battle zone, with streets engulfed by tear gas and fires.

Scores were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies responding to calls for help evacuating protesters.

The police said that they arranged for Red Cross volunteers to enter the campus in the afternoon and provide first aid to the injured, and that the force would assist those who needed to go to the hospital “before further investigation,” implying that arrests would wait until after their treatments.

Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker who was in touch with social workers, said that some of the young people trapped inside were “close to breaking down.”

The police said 154 people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 4,491 since the protests started in June.

The city’s High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government’s ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers.

The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O.

In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory’s laws.

“The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law,” the court said in its ruling.

Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions.

“The judgment affirms the importance of separation of powers and fundamental freedoms under our constitutional order,” said Simon Young, a professor at the University of Hong Kong Law School.

Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Protests: Campus Under Siege as Mask Ban Is Overturned

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164602680_86dc06b7-7b44-4d37-9c8c-2c91f428c4b6-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Campus Under Siege as Mask Ban Is Overturned Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Protesters inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday.

Police officers on Monday cornered hundreds of student protesters who occupied a Hong Kong university, offering the demonstrators one way out: drop your weapons and surrender or be met with a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets.

For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

By The New York Times

Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all of their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets.

The students on Monday afternoon tried unsuccessfully to rush a police cordon only to be pushed back into the campus. Despite running out of options, the students fear that following police instructions to “drop their weapons” and leave through one designated exit will result in their arrest.

The protesters, many of them university and high school students, have occupied the campus for a week. On Sunday night and well into Monday morning they clashed with the police in one of the most violent confrontations in months of conflict.

At least 500 protesters remained on campus by Monday afternoon, after the police tried to enter the campus that morning but were pushed back.

Westlake Legal Group Sequence-06-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Campus Under Siege as Mask Ban Is Overturned Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Six Months of Hong Kong Protests. How Did We Get Here?

The protests started as peaceful marches and rallies against an unpopular bill. Then came dozens of rounds of tear gas and a government that refused to back down.

Conditions on the campus have grown increasingly desperate with injured protesters unable to receive treatment, Owan Li, a student council member, told reporters. Student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by a stinging dye shot from a police water cannon.

Areas near the university had the feel of a battle zone, with streets engulfed by tear gas and fires.

Scores were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies responding to calls for help evacuating protesters.

The police said 154 people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 4,491 since the protests started in June.

The city’s High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government’s ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers.

The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O.

In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory’s laws.

“The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law,” the court said in its ruling.

Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions.

Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Protests: Campus Siege Enters a Second Day as Court Overturns Mask Ban

Westlake Legal Group 18hongkong-briefing-1sub-facebookJumbo Hong Kong Protests: Campus Siege Enters a Second Day as Court Overturns Mask Ban Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

A standoff at a Hong Kong university between protesters and the police entered a second day on Monday with riot officers lobbing tear gas and firing rubber bullets at some students trying to flee the besieged campus, while others stayed bunkered inside with homemade weapons.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university, Hong Kong Polytechnic, on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

A core group of students remained inside the walls awaiting an expected operation to remove them from the campus.

As protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

By The New York Times

The Hong Kong protests began in June over legislation, since scrapped, that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, and have expanded to include a broad range of demands for police accountability and greater democracy.

Here’s the latest:

The city’s High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government’s ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers.

The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O.

In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory’s laws.

“The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law,” the court said in its ruling.

Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions.

Scores of people were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of arrested people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies who had arrived at the university after responding to calls for help evacuating protesters trapped on campus.

At least 500 protesters remained on campus, after the police thwarted their attempts to escape by firing rubber bullets and volleys of tear gas, in an apparent break of a temporary truce that the university president, Jin-Guang Teng, said he had negotiated with the police.

The police said in a statement on Facebook that “a large group of masked rioters who have been holed up” at the university “suddenly charged at police cordons,” including many who held firebombs.

The police said they urged those inside the campus to “drop their weapons” and leave. Protesters were wary of following the police’s order to evacuate, as some were arrested after trying to leave, according to witnesses.

The police fired tear gas in the nearby neighborhood of Jordan, where roadblocks made with brick clusters and bamboo poles disrupted traffic.

Protesters have called for another strike on Monday in support of the campus occupiers, with demonstrations expected in the city’s Central business district.

Trains at several sections of the city’s rail network have been suspended or delayed.

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Hong Kong Violence Escalates as Police and Protesters Clash at University

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164551200_b74b511f-dddb-4f91-8dd1-6c92d31cdcbd-articleLarge Hong Kong Violence Escalates as Police and Protesters Clash at University Propaganda People's Liberation Army (China) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Colleges and Universities

Protesters threw flaming projectiles at the police from behind barricades.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Hundreds of Hong Kong activists armed with petrol bombs and bows-and-arrows on Monday battled riot police who have laid a days-long siege to a university, the most violent confrontation yet in a half-year of protests.

Early Monday, the police tried storming the campus at the main entrance and made some arrests. But the occupiers fought back with dozens of petrol bombs and set barricades ablaze, forcing the police to retreat.

As day broke, the occupiers and the police were still locked in the standoff at Hong Kong Polytechnic University that began Saturday night, and smoke billowed from the grounds. Some protesters on Monday morning raced for the exits, only to be met with volleys of tear gas.

The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and armored vehicles to try breach the barricades all day on Sunday. But activists resisted into the night. One police officer was hit in the leg by an arrow, while student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by the water cannon.

The clashes were the culmination of the most disruptive week of the monthslong protests, a period that has focused a global spotlight on the growing desperation of the pro-democracy activists and aggressive efforts by the police to suppress them. It is a sign the conflict is turning more violent as the territory prepares to hold elections later this month.

The activists are struggling against the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing to preserve autonomy for Hong Kong, a political system guaranteed for 50 years by an agreement between Beijing and London. The British handed over the global financial hub in 1997.

The rising tensions and the potential for greater control over Hong Kong’s political and legal systems by the Communist Party have raised questions over the long-term commercial viability of Hong Kong and the integrity of its fraying social fabric.

In Washington, American officials said they were monitoring the clashes as well as reviewing a report by The New York Times on leaked internal Communist Party documents showing how party leaders, including President Xi Jinping, had set up internment camps to hold one million or more Muslims in another frontier area, Xinjiang.

Trump administration officials and Congress have been holding discussions on whether to impose separate sets of sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. But President Trump has held back for fear of upsetting trade talks.

Hong Kong is scheduled to hold district council elections next Sunday. Some residents worry the government might postpone the vote, though Carrie Lam, the chief executive of the territory, has said the elections will be held on time.

A small number of supporters of Communist Party rule, as well as Hu Xijin, the chief editor of Global Times, a state-run news organization in Beijing, had become so outraged by the Sunday clashes that they said the police should use live ammunition.

The occupation of the university has forced a weeklong shutdown of a tunnel leading to the business districts on Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, and activists said they planned more traffic blockades on Monday.

The university president, Jin-Guang Teng, said Monday morning that he had negotiated a temporary truce with the police, but suggested occupiers still would have to turn themselves in to the police after leaving the campus.

The clashes of the past week began when protesters changed from a regular routine of weekend protests to disrupting traffic on workdays. The disruptions and attempts by the police to breach campuses — considered a last refuge by activists — quickly led to protesters occupying five universities, two of which sit astride key transportation routes.

The police arrested dozens trying to flee, including first-aid volunteers. Mainstream supporters of the movement drove to the campus to try to get the police to back off. On Sunday night, the police threatened to use lethal force if the protesters did not leave.

“I know that there is a possibility that the police will fire live bullets on us tonight, but right now, we have no choice,” William Lau, 22, a protester on campus, said around midnight. He estimated there were about 500 activists on site at that time.

About 50 were arrested after trying to leave, he said, so others were wary of trying to exit.

“The police would never just let us walk out like that,” he said. “I know that some want to leave now but don’t know how, while a fair number want to stay and fight.”

Right outside the campus, pro-democracy lawmakers, a top Roman Catholic official, an American pastor and a student leader called on the Hong Kong government to intervene to prevent bloodshed.

“I want to seek help from the government to stop the police force from their operation and avoid tragedy,” said Owan Li, a student representative on the university council.

As the police fired tear gas, Bishop Joseph Ha tried entering with the lawmakers and the American pastor, William Devlin of the Bronx, but were turned away by the police.

“If the police are to launch a clearance, they should use as minimal force as possible because lives are precious,” Mr. Ha said.

Mr. Devlin said in a telephone interview that he had been on campus for about four hours as the clashes unfolded and had left, but was trying to re-enter.

“They were not being deterred,” he said of the protesters. “They were ready to be arrested. They said, ‘We stand for freedom, dignity, democracy, human rights.’”

Mr. Devlin said he had been on the front line in the late afternoon Sunday when the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons against protesters.

He said he had seen protesters throw 10 to 20 petrol bombs to deter the police from advancing. At least two were armed with bows and arrows, he said.

Louis Lau, the police superintendent, said before midnight that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle charging toward officers in an area near campus.

“Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said.

Protesters confronted the police throughout the night in nearby neighborhoods to try to draw them away from the campus. The presidents of five universities released a statement calling for restraint by all sides and asking everyone on the campus to leave.

Denise Ho, a pro-democracy pop singer who has been banned on the mainland by Beijing, invoked the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on Twitter and said, “World, please help Hong Kong and save our students!”

The police tried sending an armored vehicle across a bridge on the east side of campus. Protesters set the vehicle on fire with petrol bombs, forcing it to retreat.

Mr. Hu, the chief editor of Global Times, posted a video of the vehicle aflame on Twitter and said, “Police should be permitted to fire live rounds in this case to counter rioters.”

The violence came after protesters at the university on Friday prepared for a long siege, as they poured gasoline into glass bottles to make hundreds or thousands of bombs and practiced throwing those into an empty swimming pool. They also did target practice with catapult-style slingshots and bows-and-arrows.

The police began advancing around 10 p.m. Saturday, and the clashes reached a high pitch on Sunday afternoon.

In nearby Kowloon Tong on Saturday, Chinese soldiers jogged out of their barracks by Hong Kong Baptist University and cleared bricks from streets that had been placed there by protesters to block traffic.

The soldiers wore T-shirts and basketball jerseys, and carried brooms. The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in 19 sites once occupied by the British military. Even though Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong since 1997, they almost never venture into the city.

The cleanup, which was lauded by Chinese state-run news organizations, prompted a torrent of criticism from local residents. Pro-democracy lawmakers issued a statement saying that the local government and the Chinese military had ignored restrictions imposed on the troops by local laws.

Edward Wong reported from Washington, and Mike Ives, Tiffany May and Katherine Li reported from Hong Kong. Paul Mozur and Ezra Cheung contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong Protests: Police Rush Barricades at University Campus, but Retreat in Face of Fire

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police early Monday morning tried to enter in force a university campus that antigovernment activists had occupied for days, a tense moment that could significantly escalate the monthslong political crisis gripping the semiautonomous Chinese city.

Student leaders said police had carried out “a massive arrest of persons within the campus” and that there had been multiple injuries, with three people suffering injuries to their eyes and 40 suffering from hypothermia after being hit with water from police water cannons.

At one of the entrances to the campus, the police were able to arrest a few protesters at the outer edges of a barricade protecting the university, but they fell back after other students set the barricades on fire and threw dozens of petrol bombs at the police.

The police have been surrounding Hong Kong Polytechnic University and have threatened to use “lethal force” to arrest those who did not surrender. The incursion on Monday was the police force’s most direct intervention yet onto one of the city’s university campuses, which until recently were safe spaces for young demonstrators.

The police assault began at about 5:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, and at 6:15 a.m., the fire at the barricade set ablaze by protesters was still big enough, and burning bright enough, to be visible at a distance.

The standoff at the PolyU campus, in which a police officer was hit in his leg with an arrow, shattered a fragile calm that had returned to Hong Kong after a workweek marred by severe transit disruptions and street violence. Protesters on the fringes of the campus continued their multiday blockage of a nearby and vital cross-harbor tunnel, and stepped up their tactics by setting fire to two nearby bridges and an armored police vehicle.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164572914_5405566b-67d7-40bb-8ec0-81fce29066c4-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Police Rush Barricades at University Campus, but Retreat in Face of Fire Propaganda People's Liberation Army (China) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Colleges and Universities

Protesters continued a multiday occupation of the Polytechnic University campus into early Monday morning.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Here’s more on the latest developments in Hong Kong.

PolyU’s president, Jin-Guang Teng, said in a prerecorded video released after the police tried to storm the campus that he had negotiated a temporary suspension of violence with the police, but suggested that protesters occupying the campus would still have to turn themselves into the police.

“If the protesters do not initiate the use of force, the police will not initiate the use the use of force,” he said in the video statement. “In addition, we have also received permission from the police for you to leave the campus peacefully, and I will personally accompany you to the police station to ensure that your case will be fairly processed.”

The president’s statement came after a night of confrontation.

After nightfall, the protesters set fire to a flyover near the tunnel and a pedestrian bridge leading to the campus, forcing an armored police vehicle to retreat and setting another police vehicle on fire. Plumes of black smoke billowed across the campus.

Superintendent Louis Lau of the Hong Kong police said in a video statement that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle that charged toward officers Sunday night. “Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said, warning that live rounds could be used as a “necessary minimum force.”

The police later said in a statement that “rioters” had jeopardized public safety by hurling bricks and gasoline bombs, and that “such behaviors cannot be condoned.”

Before the attempt to storm the campus, a riot police officer on the site warned that protesters were surrounded and that the force would use lethal force against them if they did not surrender.

“Time is running out,” the officer said through a loudspeaker. The police also warned anyone inside the campus to leave immediately through a designated exit, which was later set on fire.

After many protesters and journalists left the campus ahead of a 10 p.m. deadline the police had set, several protesters returned to an entrance, chanting “Hong Kongers, take revenge.” The police fired volleys of tear gas and streams of a stinging blue dye at the protesters, who shielded themselves with umbrellas and threw petrol bombs.

In a statement issued just before midnight, Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group that organized large, peaceful marches in the early weeks of the protest movement, urged the government and police to de-escalate what it called “state violence.”

“With the tense atmosphere and escalation of the use of force by police, we worry that the protesters, most of whom are our young and future generation, will face arrest with bloodshed,” the statement said.

Dozens of civilians and volunteer drivers have poured into nearby neighborhoods, trying to help protesters trapped inside the campus escape arrest or injury.

An American pastor and a half-dozen Hong Kong lawmakers said late on Sunday that they were calling on the Hong Kong government to prevent any bloodshed. They said they had asked the United States Consulate to get the police to allow them inside the campus to ensure protesters’ safety.

The pastor, William Devlin, said in a telephone interview that he had been on campus for at least four hours as the clashes unfolded, and had left at 8 p.m. But he was trying to re-enter with the lawmakers at a northwest entrance.

Mr. Devlin estimated there were many hundreds of determined activists still inside when he left, perhaps up to 1,000. He said they were spread out across all parts of the campus, with at least 200 in the cafeteria.

“They were all in good spirits,” he said. “They were not being deterred. They were ready to be arrested. They said, ‘We stand for freedom, dignity, democracy, human rights.’ They said they were staying.”

Mr. Devlin said he had been on the front line with the activists in the late afternoon when the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons against protesters. Much of that took place outside a main southwest entrance to the university that is a 15-minute walk from the bustling commercial strip of Nathan Road.

He said he had seen protesters throw 10 to 20 petrol bombs to deter the police from advancing. Officers deployed at least one water cannon truck and two armored vehicles. At least two protesters were armed with bows and arrows, he said.

Mr. Devlin said he would call an American diplomat before midnight to ask for help getting the police to grant him permission to re-enter the campus with six Hong Kong legislators. They want to “make sure the students are being treated fairly,” he said.

William Lau, 22, a protester on campus, said around midnight that about 500 activists were still on campus. “I know that there is a possibility that the police will fire live bullets on us tonight, but right now we have no choice,” he said.

About 50 activists were arrested after trying to leave via a northwest entrance, he said, so others were wary of trying to exit.

“The police would never just let us walk out like that,” he said. “I know that some want to leave now but don’t know how, while a fair number wants to stay and fight.”

Scores of protesters in nearby areas of Mong Kok confronted the police in an attempt to draw forces away from the campus. On Hong Kong Island, protesters with the same aim put up barricades in Central, the main business and luxury shopping district.

Louis Lau, the police superintendent, said before midnight that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle that charged toward officers.

“Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said, warning that live rounds could be used as a “necessary minimum force.” The police also said they might use lethal force if the protesters do not leave the campus.

Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group that organized large, peaceful marches in the early weeks of the six-month-old movement, urged the government and the police to de-escalate what it called “state violence.”

“With the tense atmosphere and escalation of the use of force by police,” the group said in a statement, “we worry that the protesters, most of whom are our young and future generation, will face arrest with bloodshed.”

For hours on Sunday, the police fired gas and sprayed water cannons at young demonstrators who were continuing a multiday occupation of the campus and blockading an adjacent tunnel that connects Hong Kong Island with the Kowloon Peninsula.

Ensconced above the Kowloon streets in fort-like enclosures, some of the protesters spent hours throwing gasoline bombs, some from improvised catapults. Others were armed with bows and arrows, and the police said an officer had been hit in the calf with an arrow.

Dozens of hard-line protesters also clashed with riot police in several working-class neighborhoods nearby, apparently in an attempt to divert the force’s energies away from the campus.

The PolyU campus, which sits beside the harbor tunnel and a Chinese military barracks, is one of several that young protesters had occupied days earlier, turning them into quasi-militarized citadels. Most of the other sieges gradually tapered off.

The Sunday clash came on the heels of a particularly intense week of transit delays, street scuffles and flash-mob-style demonstrations across the city. The unrest was prompted in part by the police shooting of a young demonstrator at point-blank range. He survived.

On Saturday, Chinese soldiers jogged out of their barracks near Hong Kong Baptist University and cleared bricks from streets that had been swarmed days earlier by young demonstrators.

The soldiers wore T-shirts and basketball jerseys, rather than military uniforms, and carried brooms instead of weapons. Their appearance threatened to inflame tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese territory, where many are deeply sensitive about what they see as Beijing’s growing influence over their lives.

The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in 19 sites once occupied by the British military before the former colony returned to Chinese control in 1997. But even though Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong for years, it is highly unusual for them to venture into the city.

Hong Kong’s mini-Constitution says that P.L.A. forces “shall not interfere” in local affairs and that the local government may ask for the army’s assistance for disaster relief and maintaining public order. The Hong Kong government said in a statement on Saturday that the soldiers’ cleanup had been a self-initiated “community activity.”

The cleanup, which was lauded in China’s state-run news media, prompted a torrent of criticism from local residents. On Saturday, 24 lawmakers from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislative minority issued a joint statement saying that the local government and the P.L.A. had ignored restrictions imposed on the troops by local laws.

Ezra Cheung, Paul Mozur and Keith Bradsher contributed reporting.

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