Hong Kong Polytechnic University becomes war zone between protesters and police


Sean Lee, Staff Writer

On November 11, students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University began fortifying their position to defend against police retaliation. Protesters used firebombs, slingshots, and axes during the conflict. On the other hand, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the situation, even though they had threatened the use of lethal force. After two weeks, the University’s control returned to school officials.

Why Did Protesters Clash with the Police?

The catalyst for the confrontation between protesters and police were the local elections, with protesters fearing that police will intervene in the public’s right to vote. Some protesters have also attributed the violent confrontation to the deaths of multiple protesters who were under arrest.

What Did the Police do to Those on Campus?

Many protesters left the campus on their own accord, with the police promising amnesty to those who surrendered. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to remove protesters from the university, police were able to arrest the remaining protesters who did not comply with demands.

What is Left of the University?

After removing all protesters, police found the university in a damaged state. Notable buildings, such as the gymnasium and canteen that held protesters, were defaced with graffiti. The university reported that dangerous chemicals were left unaccounted for in their laboratory. Officials suspect that these chemicals were most likely used in the creation of homemade bombs to be used against police. After President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, both protesters and police hope for more peaceful times. 

Works Cited:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/29/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-polytechnic.html
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-50465337
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/asia/hong-kong-polytechnic-university-scene-intl-hnk/index.html
  4. https://abcnews.go.com/International/riot-police-surround-hong-kongs-polytechnic-university-protesters/story?id=67199845
  5. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hong-kong-protests-siege-of-hong-kong-polytechnic-university-continues-for-seventh-day-2019-11-23/
  6. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/29/what-trump-bills-on-hong-kong-rights-protections-means-for-china-hk-and-us.html