The protesters in Hong Kong have gotten very creative with their tactics in the ongoing protests against conditions of the region’s political relationship with mainland China, but the police are starting to think outside the box as well.
In the thirteenth week of protests, police began using large water cannons to shoot blue dye at protesters, which allowed them to be marked for arrest later.
BREAKING: Hong Kong Police for the first time deployed water cannons infused with blue dye. The idea is to identify protesters and facilitate arrests. Carrie Lam reportedly told her cabinet that she would “lock them all up.” Looks like she meant what she said. pic.twitter.com/N10HzNggk8
— Jason Y. Ng (@jasonyng) August 31, 2019
Luckily, many protesters had already been carrying a change of clothes so they were harder for authorities to identify if they were spotted, leaving them a few steps ahead of the police.
— 周庭 Agnes Chow Ting (@chowtingagnes) August 31, 2019
According to a Twitter post from Hong Kong-based Quartzreporter Mary Hui, the protestors were carrying around baking soda and alcohol wipes and then leaving the cleanup supplies in public areas so they weren’t found with them if they were stopped.
Baking soda and alcohol wipes left in a public toilet in Causeway Bay, in preparation for dye in police water cannons. Via Telegram. pic.twitter.com/aknsgX9zPo
— Mary Hui (@maryhui) August 31, 2019
However, not everyone was so lucky.
Last week Hong Kong police said they had arrested 86 protesters since the demonstrations began. Their arrests included several prominent activists and journalists, as well as a 12-year-old child.
The water cannons with the blue dye were brought out to help enforce a ban that was implemented on protests. The police wanted to mark as many people who defied the ban as possible.
Water cannon spraying blue dye at the crowds pic.twitter.com/Ji8IPxonJo
— Antony Dapiran (@antd) August 31, 2019
This week, Hong Kong’s controversial leader Carrie Lam finally announced the withdraw of the bill that initially sparked the protests. The proposed law would have allowed the government of mainland China to extradite anyone that they labeled as a criminal, and this was the focus of many of the demonstrations. However, many of the most influential activists involved in the protests say that this gesture is far too little and way too late.
Now the people of Hong Kong want justice for those who were hurt and killed by the police violence in the demonstrations, and they are demanding the release of those who are still in police custody for protesting.
Initial response to Carrie Lam:
1. Too little and too late now — Carrie Lam's response comes after 7 lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in police station.
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) September 4, 2019
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Many of the protesters are now demanding total independence from mainland China and the immediate resignation of the current administration, followed by open elections to decide the terms and leaders of the new government.