Tuesday was also the first time Fung joined the group Protect the Children, which works on the front line of protests to de-escalate tense situations between the protesters and police. “My Christian faith tells me to love others rather than hurt them. Right now the police [are] using a disproportionate amount of force: It’s not just or wise, it’s illegal. So I feel we need to protect the children,” she said, referring to the young protesters.
The Hong Kong government rejected march organizers’ proposal to hold protests during China’s National Day and closed more than two dozen subway stations to halt transportation to protest sites. Yet according to organizers, at least 100,000 protesters came out to call for democracy in Hong Kong while decrying police brutality and China’s encroachment in the city. Protesters threw joss paper—traditionally burned for the dead—in the air to symbolize the death of Hong Kong. Walking down the streets, they chanted “Five demands, not one less” and “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”
While the protests started peacefully, more hardcore protesters defaced businesses owned by Chinese companies, pried bricks and fences out of the sidewalks to create barricades, and lit trash cans and piles of wood on fire in the middle of roads. In multiple clashes with police, protesters threw Molotov cocktails and bricks at officers, while police fired rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Later, protesters also shot fireworks at the police.