Dozens of masked protesters vandalised pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho’s office in Tsuen Wan on Monday, smashing glass panels and spraying graffiti as they criticised his response to the Yuen Long attacks the night before.
Ho was filmed shaking hands with men wearing white – a colour worn by the assailants – in the area on Sunday evening. He praised them for their hard work while giving them the thumbs up.
Forty-five people were injured with one man in a critical condition after hundreds wielding sticks assaulted residents, journalists and Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting in and around Yuen Long MTR station, targeting those wearing black – a colour frequently worn by anti-extradition law protesters.
Police were criticised by residents for failing to react properly to distress calls, according to RTHK.
No arrests had been made as of Monday morning.
Protesters began to gather in Tsuen Fung Centre Shopping Arcade at around 3pm on Monday as shopkeepers closed their shop shutters following verbal confrontations between protesters and passersby.
Crowds pasted signs and Post-It Notes – a tactic frequently used by anti-extradition law protesters – to the exterior of Ho’s office, accusing the lawmaker of colluding with triads. They also pelted eggs and blacked out nearby surveillance cameras using spray paint.
At around 4.30pm, protesters began to smash the glass panels of Ho’s office and ripped a TV monitor off the wall.
Ho doubled down on his actions in a video shared on his Facebook page after midnight and again at a morning press conference, saying he was in the area for dinner and was mingling with residents who had praised him for his support for the police. He added that he had only learned of the attacks after the interaction.
A petition with over a thousand signatures has been set up by teachers, students and alumni of Queen’s College – of which Ho is an alumnus – condemning him for supporting gangs.
The attacks came hours after a mass rally on Hong Kong Island organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, calling for the government to completely withdraw a controversial extradition bill, which was suspended on June 15. The group said 430,000 had attended, though police said 138,000 joined at its peak. As the night drew to a close, police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against crowds in an attempt to clear occupied thoroughfares.
The latest rally comes after weeks of protests sparked by proposed amendments to rendition laws, which would enable the chief executive and local courts to handle fugitive transfers to jurisdictions, including China, without legislative oversight.