HK students arm themselves with bows and arrows, catapults
Hong Kong on edge as students say violent police have driven them to assemble improvised weapons
HONG KONG: Under a November full moon, hundreds of young people dressed in black set about turning several of Hong Kong's top universities into fortresses, well stocked with improvised weapons.
Pro-democracy protesters also paralysed parts of the city for a fourth successive day yesterday, forcing schools to close and blocking highways, even as the government dismissed rumours of a curfew.
For the first time, protesters have been arming themselves with bows and arrows looted from university sports offices, and have also assembled improvised catapults.
Police said flaming arrows, a signal flare, and even electric saws had been wielded against them.
At City University, protesters used table tennis tables, potted plants, furniture, sports equipment and bamboo to form a network of barricades to block roads and fortify entrances to the student residence complex.
Hundreds of protesters wearing gas masks and helmets tore up piles of paving bricks and ceramic tiles to hurl at police, while others stockpiled dozens of petrol bombs, distributing them to their forward positions.
The scene this week was repeated at nearly half a dozen campuses across Hong Kong, where demonstrators say they have been forced into taking a harder line by the government.
The protesters say their non-violent efforts have been met by brutal police tactics, and that weapons were required to protect themselves.
Police have shot and wounded at least three protesters.
"It has never been a fair war zone," said 23-year-old Josh, as he watched protesters practice shooting arrows at Baptist University.
"We have nothing, only masks and the police have guns. We're only trying to defend ourselves." Schools in Hong Kong have been suspended until Sunday, the Education Bureau announced yesterday. - REUTERS