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Protests continue in Hong Kong, authorities shut down four subway stations

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong staged new protests on Saturday in an industrial area of ​​the Chinese-ruled city under the eyes of police, some wearing new black masks.

Thousands of protesters, many of whom wore hard helmets and gas masks, marched in the Kwon Tug industrial area, where dozens of riot police with shields and batons intercepted them. Demonstrators blocked the road with traffic barriers and bamboo building poles as they yelled at police.

The city’s airport was operating normally, as were the roads and railways leading to it, despite protesters’ plans to apply a “pressure test” to transport networks and disrupt traffic after weeks of unrest in China.

Authorities obtained a court order not to demonstrate at the airport, which was closed for some time last week after protesters rallied in the main building for several days, causing about 1,000 flights to take off and sparking sporadic clashes with police.

Underground stations close to the densely populated Kwan Tung district on the east of the Kowloon peninsula were closed, but thousands of people gathered in the streets despite the fact that most of them carried sun umbrellas, although the atmosphere was foggy.

Some protesters sat on the ground to prevent metal gates from shutting down Kwan Tong Station, while others scolded staff for stopping trains. Some protesters erected roadblocks using bamboo scaffolding. Shops in the subway stations were closed.

The closure of the subway stations by the operator of the trains came after it was criticized in Chinese state media, including the Communist Party newspaper, for allowing “hooligans” to flee aboard trains after clashes with police.

The company also said it had obtained a court order to prevent protesters from disrupting train services. If there were “clashes, vandalism or any other acts of violence,” train services at stations experiencing such acts could stop immediately, she said.

Nearly three months after the protests began, there is no sign of a halt. Thousands of protesters yesterday formed human chains around the city in a peaceful protest described as the “Hong Kong chain”.

The authorities have so far refused to meet any of the five main demands of the protesters, including an independent investigation into the use of “repressive ways” by the police, the final withdrawal of the extradition of suspects to China, and full democracy.

Many Hong Kong residents say freedoms have waned, especially since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power.

Beijing released a British consular officer whose arrest sparked more tension.

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