Oct 6, 2019

Hong Kong protests: Thousands demonstrate against face mask ban

Demonstrators in Hong Kong. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Hong Kong for the 18th consecutive weekend, this time in defiance of face mask ban passed by chief executive Carrie Lam, who invoked a “colonial-era law that allows for new regulations when the territory faces ‘a state of serious danger,’” according to the New York Times.

The big picture: Protestors defied the ban by wearing face masks, vandalizing subway stations, setting fire to banks, attempting to flood buildings, and throwing bricks and fire bombs at police officers.

Details: The emergency law also gives the Hong Kong government powers to impose curfews, censor media and seize control of ports and transport links, but police are only enforcing the ban on masks.

What they're saying: “We’re not afraid of getting arrested,” one woman who was at the protest on Sunday and declined to give her last name told the Wall Street Journal. "The government is trying to suppress us even more—that’s exactly why this movement started in the first place."

  • In a speech Saturday, Lam condemned the demonstrations and said they are evidence that the government's ban on face masks is necessary.
In photos
Pro-democracy protesters are arrested by police during a clash at a demonstration in Wan Chai district. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Protesters clash with police dispersing tear gas in Kowloon. Photo: Laurel Chor/Getty Images
A pro-democracy protester throws a Molotov cocktail in Wan Chai district. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Protestors don Guy Fawkes masks in Kowloon. Photo: Laurel Chor/Getty Images

Go deeper: Hong Kong suspends business, transit following protests

Go deeper

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A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external White House lights were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed to assist and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators.

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A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

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Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."