Hong Kong protests: As demonstrators besiege station in rage over last Saturday’s service disruption, Hang Hau MTR staff pull down gate

Christy Leung

More than a hundred protesters besieged Hang Hau railway station on Thursday, prompting staff to pull down an exit gate.

It came after workers’ unions at train operator the MTR Corporation urged the government to put extra police at every station to protect staff, like it did during a citywide strike earlier this week.

Protesters have been escalating their actions against the MTR Corp, which they have accused of siding with police during the ongoing civil unrest. They have vandalised facilities at many stations.

At about 9pm, protesters started besieging Hang Hau station, on the Tseung Kwan O line, demanding an explanation for why the railway company shut down the line last Saturday. They were chanting anti-government slogans such as “Five demands, not one less”. Anti-riot police officers soon arrived at the scene, while nearby shops also closed early.

Anti-riot police officers rushed to Hang Hau MTR station. Photo: Handout

At about 10pm, as crowds grew outside exit A and people started abusing police, MTR staff pulled down the gate at the exit.

On the previous night, protesters besieged Po Lam station for the same reason and attacked the station supervisor. They also vandalised ticket machines and entry gates. Two men were arrested.

The supervisor, who suffered injuries to his hands and neck, was later hospitalised.

The MTR Corp has obtained an injunction against disruption of its operations to prevent potential violence, and made ad hoc arrangements to suspend services and close stations because of protests or rallies.

The head of the Police Public Relations Branch, John Tse Chun-chung, on Thursday slammed protesters for “damaging MTR stations for the sake of damaging”.

“They smashed MTR facilities every day and caused great inconvenience to others. They also besieged and attacked citizens for no reason,” Tse said, adding that officers were patrolling the stations regularly.

Hong Kong protesters attack MTR station supervisor

Separately, protesters besieged Mong Kok Police Station for the seventh straight day, forming a barricade outside it and verbally abusing officers.

In Tin Shui Wai, protesters held hands and formed a human chain outside exit C of the MTR station. Many of them were students in uniform. The chain extended to Tin Wah Estate, 2.8km (1.7 miles) from the station.

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