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9 Dec 2019 10:53
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  •   Home > News > International

    Hong Kong protesters fear lives in danger as police patience runs thin

    Under a huge neon sign saying peace, Hongkongers are devising how to help protesters holed up at a university escape authorities' clutches. Their answer is to divert police by creating more chaos — something this city has already had its fair share of.

    Just down the road from where hundreds of protesters are holed up inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a huge neon light with the word "peace" lights up the park.

    It's ironic — this is staging ground where protesters are planning their next move — how to bust out their besieged friends.

    A woman, who only wishes to be known as Kay, said she had many friends inside and feared for what may happen to them.

    "Some of the people inside, they're very desperate and some have already written their last words for their family and friends outside, so that's really tragic for us," she told the ABC.

    "It's heartbreaking."

    Their answer is to divert police and create more chaos — something this city has had its fair share of over the past few months.

    Tonight they're simultaneously at flashpoints on what seems like every street corner in this area.

    At one end, a water cannon and tear gas greet protesters.

    In return, the officers receive Molotov cocktails and bricks.

    A protester with a bow and arrow peeks his head around the corner nervously looking for a time to strike.

    Inch by inch this battle for territory in the streets close to Poly U is becoming more and more tense.

    Suddenly there's a mass escape — dozens of protesters holed up inside rappel down from a building.

    Waiting scooters pick them up and ferry them away before police have time to respond.

    Later, police allow a few minors to leave. Some with their parents.

    All have their IDs recorded — but it's not clear if they will be charged at a later stage.

    Outside the campus, just a kilometre away, streets that were paved only hours earlier are sandpits.

    Protesters have ripped up the pavers to be used as makeshift weapons.

    A human production line passes glass bottles, newspapers and barricades to the front line — anything to assist with keeping police at bay.

    The blocked and destroyed roads mean the only way in or out for kilometres is by foot.

    It's civil disobedience that's a source of major inconvenience for those trying to get around Hong Kong.

    The siege has focused the attention of protesters, uniting them behind a common cause.

    But the patience of Hong Kong police seems to be running out.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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