This story is published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. It first appeared on scmp.com on September 1, 2019.
Angry demonstrators reduced Hong Kong's streets to burned battlefields on Saturday, sparking several fires and hurling gasoline bombs at the riot police, who fought off bullets with blue dye Launched water cannons and tear gas as the city marked another weekend of heightened force.
The police fired two live rounds to fight a violent mob near Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, sources said Post when the news broke from covert officers mingled with the protesters.
The incident was just one of many shocking turns of the day on the 13th weekend in a row of protests in the city.
Everywhere in the City Places, elite "raptors" of the Special Tactical Squad, fought and fought battles with hardened demonstrators in smoke-filled streets, and knocked some to the ground while executing arrests on the spot.
Core cements took their criminal activities to a new level by lighting bonfires made of cardboard and other flammable material, trash cans, and any trash that they could put into their hands as they moved from one district to another and one Leaving a trail of destruction, almost always a step in front of the police.
Against a demonstration ban they took over streets and climbed provisional barricades, behind which they hurled bricks and petrol bombs on police lines.
First they besieged the police headquarters in Wan Chai and dropped gas bombs on the heavily barricaded building.
Once they surrounded the barricaded government building and the Legislative Council area, chopped down a fence with metal bars, and threw bricks at the riot police, which stood guard inside, while other laser pointers flashed out officers.
During the night, demonstrators flock across the harbor to Kowloon and protest in the tourist center of Tsim Sha Tsui, firing more fires along Nathan Road's main shopping street and its back streets.
The riot police attacked her again and fired tear gas. The protesters dispersed and reappeared an hour later in northern Mong Kok in even greater numbers again.
Throughout the city, the shrill sirens of firetrucks came up in the air during daytime. Above us were flying Super Puma helicopters zigzagged over the Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Central, and the roar of their rotor blades mingled with the battle cries of the protesters in the background of a city at war.
"This is an example of the Hong Kong government and the police suppressing us," said retiree and demonstrator Michael Chu in the 1960s at Chater Garden, as the helicopters said, according to a government website, for "internal security and control terrorist activities "were hovering above him.
The MTR also stopped traffic at several stations throughout the day as the railway operator was given a temporary cessation order to prevent demonstrators from taking cover or using trains to move from one destination to the next to get.
This did not prevent the mobs from destroying several stations, including breaking a glass platform screen door at the Wan Chai MTR station, blocking Admiralty turnstiles and defacing walls there and at several multiple stops, including Causeway Bay, Tin Hau and Fortress Hill.
Late at night, sporadic but fierce clashes between protesters and police moved to a new battlefield – MTR stations. In the hunt for demonstrators, they saw officers commuting with their truncheons crouching – some wearing masks – in the cabin of a train at Prince Edward Station. Later, we saw several people who were bleeding and needed medical attention. At midnight, the train operator suspended five of the ten lines of the network.
The nearly ten hours of chaos kept the city busy when Hong Kong marked the fifth anniversary of Beijing's announcement of a restrictive electoral reform package to establish universal suffrage year as the city could elect its CEO from a list of pre-screened candidates. The announcement sparked off the 79-day Occupy protests of 2014.
The police had banned the demonstrations on Saturday, citing serious safety concerns. The organizers said they had canceled the event, but asked people to flash their cell phones on time at 8:31 pm to celebrate the fifth anniversary.  But the moment came and went unnoticed as demonstrators and policemen in several places opposed a routine of cat and mouse.
The day of defiance followed police action against celebrity activists and three opposition lawmakers arrested on the eve of the forbidden march, all for alleged involvement in previous protests during the nearly three-month riot that shook the city. Crowds – many dressed in their typical black T-shirts and armed with their umbrellas – walked peacefully through various streets of the island of Hong Kong, adopting street and song slogans such as "Save our freedom" and "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time ".
The crowd also saw protesters who had not put on masks, and who openly dared to arrest the police for illegally marching.
Soon, however, chaos prevailed as radicals swarmed around the government and financial headquarters in the Admiralty and Central. The mob threw stones, lit fires, and aimed lasers at policemen behind a barricade near Legco. At 5:30 pm, the patience of the police weakened and the anti-riot water cannons fired a relatively mild stream and tears of gas to disperse the crowd, which fought it off by firing more gasoline bombs and lighting fires. Less than an hour later, demonstrators armed with metal bars in the blue-and-white water barriers around Legco-a had found a weak link-and started to hack him.
The water cannons reappeared and sprayed blue liquid with pepper spray from a distance as the riot police fired more tear gas at the demonstrators.
The crowd dispersed in different directions and was as good as disappeared within a few minutes. She left the hills of metal fences, trash bins, traffic cones and other garbage they had accumulated.
On July 22, demonstrators stormed Legco on the occasion of Hong Kong's return from British rule to Chinese rule.
In a scene reminiscent of the storming of the building when protesters used a metal car as a battering ram to smash through Legco's glass facades, a group with a makeshift barricade appeared from part of the stadium seats.
They used this fixture to kindle a fire and within a few minutes a large flame was ignited. Three explosions were heard as they threw petrol bombs into the flames.
Earlier, protesters attempted to enter the official residence of embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor but were turned down by a riot police phalanx.  John Cheung Kwok-keung, a 30-year-old import-export businessman, was among the demonstrators, distributing supplies such as food coupons, masks and T-shirts.
He claimed to have done so since then The demonstrations began in June, his supplies were paid for by wealthy parents of young demonstrators. Cheung said he was not deterred by warnings about the illegality of the demonstrations.
"I still have confidence in the courts of Hong Kong and judge that I will be confirmed even if the police arrest me," he said.
Another protester, fully masked, said, "I do not care. I will do my best to escape, but if it is my destiny, it should be so.
Earlier in the day, demonstrators gathered at Wan Chai's Southorn Playground to attend a religious gathering to "pray for sinners," and they sang hymns before marching to Lame's residence in Government House. The group insisted that because they were part of a religious event, they did not need a police permit.
The "sinners" rally was organized after the civil rights front canceled a march from central to Beijing's West District Liaison Office following a demonstration decision of the appellate body to uphold the police's ban on the event.
They went to the playground and sang songs, including "Sing Hallelujah to the Lord."
The only relatively safe area on Hong Kong Island was the Western District during the day
The police had arranged a lock to protect the Liaison Office. The streets were closed and public transport closed until 1pm. The trams were stopped, the MTR service to Sai Yin Pun stopped and the bus lines redirected.
The Liaison Office – almost all surrounded by two-meter-high water-filled barriers and several police vehicles stationed nearby – remained consistently flawless.  Last Sunday, a police officer unleashed a live round after being tracked down and beaten by a mob of iron bars and his colleagues in Tsuen Wan. This Sunday, demonstrators pledged to bring chaos to another day of chaos at the airport.