A group of men wearing white attacked protesters and passersby in Tsuen Wan on Monday, slashing one man with a knife and causing him to bleed. The victim was wearing a black shirt, though it is not clear if he was a protester.
The violent attack came as thousands of protesters occupied roads and surrounded police stations in at least eight districts — Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun, Wong Tai Sin, North Point, Admiralty, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po and Tsim Sha Tsui — as part of a city-wide strike, initiated by the anti-extradition bill movement.
At around 11pm on Chung On Street, a group of 30 to 40 white-clad men attacked protesters and journalists with sticks and some with knives, according to activist Figo Chan, who was nearby. Chan is a deputy convener of the Civil Human Rights Front and wrote about the incident on Facebook.
Chan said a group of protesters tried to help journalists escape but backed away after discovering the attackers had knives. The protesters returned to find a young man who had reportedly been beaten up and cut three times on his head, arm and leg.
The victim was hospitalised and received treatment to repair a tendon in his arm, Chan said, adding that charitable group the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund had extended financial support to his family.
Most assailants fled the scene but two were caught by protesters, Chan said.
Video footage shared on social media showed protesters beating up at least one man in white after he was caught. Others were seen trying to stop the assault, urging protesters to avoid hitting his head.
Chan said other men in white had returned to attack protesters but disappearing after police arrived to disperse the crowd.
“We were, of course, afraid [of the men in white]. But it was important to rescue people – how can we count on the police to do it? He would be dead if we had relied on them,” Chan wrote.
In North Point, another group of men dressed in white attacked protesters using sticks. The protesters fought back, causing their assailants to flee.