Hong Kong police have been engaged in running battles with hundreds of pro-democracy protesters trapped at the city’s Polytechnic University today. As a ring of police tightened around them, protestors were fighting with everything they have. Now Communist Chinese troops from the mainland have arrived on the scene, and the crackdown could be about to get much worse.
Protestors have used catapults against riot police in armored vehicles, setting at least one armored car on fire with a Molotov cocktail. One police official was hit in the leg with an arrow in some of the worst fighting since the protests began.
For days, protesters had barricaded the campus to keep police from getting in. Now, cornered by authorities, they're trying to get out.
Hong Kong police are calling on protesters to surrender and face justice. But protesters were seen washing wounds and preparing more Molotov cocktails early Monday, getting ready for more combat.
Matthew, one of the protesters, said, "We are exhausted because we were up since 5 AM yesterday. We are desperate because our supplies are running low."
Now, after the arrival of mainland Communist Chinese troops to Hong Kong's streets for the first time, China’s Global Times newspaper says police should use snipers with live ammunition at violent protesters.
In a police press briefing, the choice of words sounded like authorities were preparing the public for a much more violent crackdown. Police spokesman Kwok Ka-Chuen said, "The development so violent, has reached a critical level, rioters are so intent to murder our officer at all costs (sic)."
Hong Kong Polytechnic's President Teng Jin-Guangh said in a statement students would be allowed to surrender without further violence, but must also be arrested, "under the condition that if the protesters do not initiate the use of force, the police will not initiate the use of force."
The protests started peacefully in early June, sparked by proposed law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to the mainland. Now, after six months, the protestors are tempting Beijing to crush an insurrection that would never be allowed in mainland China.
Recently discovered internal Chinese government documents indicate that Chinese leader Xi became a hardliner by seeing the collapse of the Soviet Union, which he blamed on weak leadership and lack of resolve.
Not a good sign for Hong Kong protestors.