Hong Kong riot police on Monday November 18th tightened their grip on pro-democracy protesters trying to flee a university they had set ablaze in one of the most violent confrontations seen in nearly six months of unrest, according to AFP.
Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators throughout the day, threatening to use deadly force, as protests also erupted in different parts of the city.
Monday’s clashes are part of a new phase of violence that began last week and has led to chaos throughout the city-state of 7.5 million people, with public facilities and schools closed, train lines disrupted, and major roads blocked by barricades and debris.
None of the protesters’ demands have been met and China has refused to offer any concessions, warning it will not tolerate dissent.
Concerns that China could intervene militarily have been fuelled by the appearance of Chinese soldiers for the first time, clearing streets of debris.
On Monday, police tried to dislodge hundreds of protesters who had occupied Hong Kong Polytechnic University over the weekend. Overnight the youngsters set fire to the main entrance as they repelled an attempted police incursion.
There were clashes every time activists emerged from the campus, with tear gas greeting protesters’ attempts to break out. Police made dozens of arrests, sometimes beating people with batons.