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

Hong Kong protestors march in support of pro-democracy leader

Pro-democracy protestors in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong, Oct. 20. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters marched in Hong Kong on Sunday in defiance of a police ban against assembly, rallying in support of a pro-democracy group leader who was attacked by five men wielding hammers three days earlier, according to the BBC.

The state of play: Though the march was largely peaceful, some protestors threw firebombs at police and vandalized Chinese banks and shops. Police responded by shooting tear gas canisters and deploying water cannons loaded with a blue irritant used to mark protestors for later arrest.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019

In photos: Violent weekend protests break out around the world

A bus burns down in Santiago, Chile on Oct. 18. Photo: Claudio Reyes/AFP via Getty Images

Protests blazed across the world this weekend, as outrage over Chile's economic situation boiled over, separatist Catalan activists again clashed with police, and tens of thousands amassed in day three of anti-government corruption protests in Lebanon.

Where it stands: Hundreds of civilians and law enforcement officers have been injured in all three countries, in unrelated protests that have dragged on for days.

Go deeperArrowOct 19, 2019

In photos: Unrest in Barcelona after Spain jails Catalan separatists

Barcelona firefighters put out blazes during protests on Wednesday. Photo: Robert Marquardt/Getty Images

Barcelona's streets were ablaze Wednesday night, as police and protesters clashed after thousands turned out for a third day to rally for independence from Spain, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Peaceful protests against Spain’s Supreme Court sentencing of 9 Catalan separatist leaders this week to 9–13 years in prison for charges including sedition erupted into violence, with reports of riot police firing tear gas and activists throwing petrol bombs and torching cars, per the Guardian.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 17, 2019