Police officers were spotted at multiple railway stations and schools on Monday morning, as pro-democracy protesters planned to obstruct MTR operations and boycott classes.
At around 7:30am, protesters began their civil disobedience action at MTR stations, using objects to prevent platform doors from closing at Kowloon Tong station and pressing the emergency stop buttons inside carriages. The protesters then travelled along the railway lines to cause disruption at different stations.
Police officers – many in riot gear – were spotted at MTR stations including Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui, North Point, Mong Kok, Tai Wai, Quarry Bay, Yau Tong, Choi Hung, Tsing Yi and others.
At Lok Fu MTR station, over 10 uniformed officers subdued a protester dressed in black and holding an umbrella. Police also detained protesters at Lai King station, with an officer saying that one man was suspected of criminal damage.
Police also conducted stop-and-search operations at multiple MTR stations. Photos circulating online appeared to show four police officers detaining a schoolgirl in uniform at Wong Tai Sin station, and at Kowloon Tong station a man dressed in black was found to have a gas mask and gloves in his backpack.
The MTR Corporation earlier condemned the “continuous vandalism” of its stations, which it said affected 32 stations on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.
Protesters damaged station control rooms, CCTV cameras, ticket issuing machines, add value machines and defaced the stations with grafitti, the company said.
After brief delays on Monday morning on the Kwun Tong line and Tsuen Wan line, services resumed normal operations at around 9:30am.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam thanked MTRC staff on Monday morning, saying in a Facebook post that the damage to the stations by protesters was “a terrible sight to see.” The reopening of all rail lines on Monday morning was the result of professionalism, and reassured those who needed to go to school and work, she added.
Police search protesting students
Meanwhile, some secondary school students launched a class boycott on the first day of the term. Outside the gates of schools such as La Salle College, protesters – many masked or dressed in protest gear – handed out flyers and chanted slogans.
At around 10am, riot police arrived at La Salle College and searched the belongings of protesters, saying that they want to know why they have gathered. The school has said that it did not contact police.
Students from St. Mary’s Canossian College also reported that their school refused entry to those carrying protest materials, and confiscated some of the supplies. Those who wore black face masks were told by teachers to switch to other types of face masks, or else risk a penalty.
Multiple schools around Hong Kong have seen their students and alumni standing outside school gates, urging other students to join the class boycott.
The citywide class boycott was jointly organised by Demosisto, Demovanile and Hong Kong ANTI-FOO Student Alliance, which earlier estimated that as many as 10,000 secondary school students would join.
A school strike rally was planned for Monday morning at Edinburgh Place, but was delayed until 12:30pm due to rain.
Separately, university students also gathered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to prepare for their strike rally. The school objected to the rally, saying that it was a “very high risk,” but the CUHK Student Union said it would go ahead as planned on Monday afternoon.
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