Thousands of people protested in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong on Sunday, December 1. Demonstrators reportedly rallied in Tsim Sha Tsui before marching to the US consulate. Standoffs were reported between protesters and police in the Whampoa area, with some demonstrators throwing bricks at police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters; several protesters were arrested in Kowloon. Some mobs of demonstrators also vandalized stores with connections to mainland China and railway station exits in Whampoa.
Additional protests are to be expected over the coming days and weeks. Notably, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) is organizing a demonstration to observe Human Rights Day at Victoria Park from 14:00 to 18:00 (local time) on Sunday, December 8.
Further protests may be organized with little warning over the near term and a heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the political situation in the city fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity.
Tensions significantly escalated across Hong Kong on November 11, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Later in the day, a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire.
On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests of up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.
Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.