A video published by Ruptly on Friday shows a man shouting to a group of journalists “We are all Chinese.” But before he is able to enter his office building, a masked protester pounces on him, punching him repeatedly on the shoulder, neck and head.
Hunched over against a wall, the office worker is later seen being escorted to safety by a group of colleagues.
The unsettling footage was taken on the same day that the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, announced that she would invoke a British colonial-era emergency law to impose a temporary ban on face masks. The move follows chaotic clashes between demonstrators and police that occurred on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Lam warned that violent protesters – almost all of them masked – were “destroying the city” and that authorities could not allow the situation to get “worse and worse.”
The ban, which will be put into effect on Saturday, applies to all types of face coverings and will be enforced for all public gatherings, even ones which have been officially sanctioned by the government.
Dating from 1922, when Hong Kong was a British colony, the Emergency Regulations Ordinance allows the city’s chief executive to issue temporary laws without parliamentary approval. Lam said the ban meant that Hong Kong was “in a state of serious public danger” but stressed that the threat did not yet warrant a formal state of emergency.
Countless videos and photographs document how masked protesters have destroyed public infrastructure, set fires, and assaulted bystanders and police alike.
Tuesday’s unrest marked the first time that police used live fire against the demonstrators, after a masked mob surrounded and assaulted a riot cop. The officer fought back, shooting an 18-year-old student in the chest from close range. The student was hospitalized and remains in a stable condition.
The months-long protests were originally against a now-abandoned extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be transferred to mainland China. In recent weeks, the demonstrations have taken on a broader – and increasingly violent – anti-China sentiment.
(SOURCE: RUSSIA TODAY)