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Eva Fu

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November 2, 2019

Chaos broke out across Hong Kongas police faced off with black-clad protesters, firing tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannon on the 22nd straight weekend of intense protests.

After police issued a ban on several proposed protests, around 130 pro-democracy candidates for the upcoming district council elections organized simultaneous small rallies at Victoria Park, which didn’t require police authorization, demanding city’s political autonomy. Thousands of protesters filled up the surrounding streets by the early afternoon.

Pro-democracy protesters march on a street as they take part in a demonstration in Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong, on Nov. 2, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Small groups of masked protesters then fled to the Central business district, through streets lined with banks and top-end jewelry and fashion stores, setting light to ramshackle street barricades and hurling petrol bombs as riot police and water cannon trucks closed in.

Protesters have for more than five months taken to the streets to voice opposition to Beijing’s growing influence in the city’s affairs.

Thousands also attended two separate rallies in Chater Garden of Central business district and the nearby Edinburgh Place, both of which had police approval. Petrol bombs were later thrown on the streets outside of Chater garden, prompting police to fire tear gas.

At least 46 cities in 17 countries worldwide planned same-day rallies in support of Hong Kong.

Firefighters stand outside the offices of China’s Xinhua News Agency after its windows were shattered during protests in Hong Kong, on Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Protesters later set fire to entrances of metro stations—often targeted as services close down to stop people gathering—and hauled two telephone booths out of the ground to erect one of many flaming barricades. Cat-and-mouse clashes continued into the night as protesters retreated to the Causeway Bay area and across the water to the northern Kowloon side.

In the evening, some protesters stormed into the office of Xinhua News Agency, a state-owned Chinese media outlet, smashing windows and the glass door. They also set a small fire in the lobby and sprayed graffiti reading: “Drive out the Chinese communists.”

A member of the police fires tear gas toward residents and protesters in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on Nov. 2, 2019. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

Police Response

At the Victoria Park rally, police fired pepper spray in the face of two political candidates. Three candidates were arrested during the protests on Saturday, The Independent reported.

Toward the evening in Time Square, a shopping mall in Causeway Bay, a first-aider lost consciousness after being struck in the back with a tear gas canister.