The daily stalemate began early as police beat front protesters with water cannons streaming irritating blue fluids and tear gas algae. The demonstrators responded with Molotov cocktails. Once, a liaison officer from the police forces was hit in the calf with an arrow.
Much of the battle centered on the bridge that led from the nearby subway station to the campus and was filled with barricades by demonstrators. As night fell, they repeatedly set fire to prevent the police from reaching the university.
The police reported at 21
o'clock. that the "next round of the operation" began, which led to speculation that they would storm the campus. They threatened to arrest those involved in a riot that could result in imprisonment of up to 10 years.
The university authorities had instructed students not to use violence. In a statement, they said they were "deeply concerned that the intensifying radical illegal activities will not only result in an enormous security threat on campus, but also an indefinite suspension of education." An important multi-port tunnel that protesters have blocked in recent days by setting fire to toll booths. The universities have become the latest hotbeds of protests that shook this semi-autonomous area to the core.
With the police raids getting tougher and harder, the demonstrators have picked up a diverse array of weapons, including bows and arrows and spears. probably appropriated from the sports departments of the campus.
In the fighting on Sunday, however, the main weapons of the demonstrators seemed to be gas bombs. At one point in time, a police car driving towards its barricades was lit by a lot of Molotov cocktails and forced to retreat.
The Polytechnic University was one of the last strongholds on campus after an intense week of protest at the city's universities. After the police laid siege to the Chinese University of Hong Kong last week, the demonstrators barricaded other sites and main roads, bringing the city and schools to a standstill.
On Saturday, members of the People's Liberation Army, China's military, left their barracks to clear the roadblocks built by demonstrators around the universities. It was the first time the PLA had been on the streets in Hong Kong since the democratic protests broke out in June. Although the presence of the army was not without example – it also appeared to help in September 2018 after a severe hit by the Typhoon Mangkhut in disaster relief – the move was a subtle but significant development. Under the Hong Kong Law, the PLA may only interfere in local affairs at the request of the Hong Kong Government.
On Saturday, the Hong Kong government denied calling on the PLA to remove the roadblocks and said the work was "voluntary" community activity, "said Chinese state-owned CGTN. The development was met with harsh criticism from pro-democracy lawmakers who said it was illegal and a PR stunt from Beijing to normalize the army's presence in the country.
At a peaceful rally in Hong Kong's central business district, Alex said development was unacceptable.
"They can not be volunteers because they are soldiers," said the 35-year-old clerk, who just called his first name for fear of retaliation. "They send a message that they will go out, and they will take action if the situation does not improve."
The Education Bureau announced that all courses will be canceled on Monday, and lessons have been for the better part of the last Week interrupted as protests and a strike paralyzed the city, and two university campuses canceled class for the remainder of the semester.
Anna Kam and Tiffany Liang contributed to this report.