Subway, Businesses Shut Down in Hong Kong Ahead of Overnight Crisis

Published October 6th, 2019 - 07:54 GMT
People gather for a rainy protest march in the Causeway Bay shopping district of Hong Kong on October 6, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)
People gather for a rainy protest march in the Causeway Bay shopping district of Hong Kong on October 6, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)

Hong Kong was brought to a standstill Saturday when transit authorities shut down the subway and businesses shuttered after overnight violent protests in the wake of a ban on public masks.

The usually vibrant city of 7 million was reduced to quiet Saturday morning with the disrupted rail system and many supermarkets and malls shuttered.

The MTR Corporation suspended rail services for the first time in more than 20 years.

Officials with 7-Eleven Hong Kong shut down stores amid the disruption, the company announced on Facebook.

Some supermarkets that were open had long lines as shoppers stocked up on supplies Saturday, the start of the three-day weekend with Monday being the Chung Yeung Festival holiday.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said "everyone is worried and scared" after a "very dark day," of violent clashes Friday.

The unrest came after Lam implemented a ban Friday on wearing masks at public protests through the use of colonial-era emergency powers that have not been invoked since 1967.

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Opposition leaders warned that the ban would only further anger critics as face masks are used in protests because of heavy teargas use and demonstrators fear of retaliation if they are identified.

A 14-year-old student was shot in the thigh with a live round and taken to the hospital in serious condition overnight after pockets of riots broke out in a march through the city where protesters torched subway stations and vandalized Beijing-friendly businesses.

Hong Kong has been gripped by weekend protests since early June against a now-withdrawn extradition bill, which have since evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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