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  1. ITV Report

Violence erupts again as Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters vandalise subway station

Protesters in Hong Kong have vandalised a subway station, smashing surveillance cameras and electronic ticket sensors, as pro-democracy demonstrations took a violent turn once again.

In a separate part of the territory, at around midnight on Saturday, brawls broke out between protesters and those who support Beijing.

As in past weeks, Sunday's demonstrations began peacefully, as protesters filled a shopping centre and, in a new twist, folded paper "origami" cranes that they tied onto a large rigging that they assembled in the mall in the Sha Tin district.

However, as the protest began to wind down, the attack at the adjacent station began.

The protesters used hammers to knock the ticket sensors off gates and spray-painted and broke the screens of ticket machines, using umbrellas to shield their identities.

Some put a Chinese flag on the floor and took turns running over it, before defacing it and putting it in a bin outside, which they then pushed into a nearby river.

Riot police arrived with tear gas guns. Credit: AP

Riot police arrived after the attack and guarded the station after it was closed, with a metal grill pulled down to block entry.

Protesters then built a barricade across a street near the shopping centre, piled what appeared to be brown palm fronds on top and set them on fire.

Police fired tear gas as they tried to advance on the protesters, who had retreated before taking a position behind a wall of umbrellas that those at the front held.

Protesters trampled over a Chinese flag. Credit: AP

At around midnight on Saturday, brawls broke out in the street between pro-democracy protesters and those who support Beijing, soon after police withdrew following protests.

The clashes began on Saturday afternoon when hundreds of protesters started to gather to mark two months since a mass attack at Yuen Long station.

Yuen Long has been tense after the July 21 attacks when a large group of men in white shirts randomly beat people with sticks at the train station.

A pro-China supporter who was injured in the brawl said afterwards that he was happy to "sacrifice" himself against the pro-democracy protesters.

"There were a lot of people," he said.

"They thought what they did was right because they were more powerful and fierce.

"This is what justice has become in our society.

"It's fine if I sacrificed myself. China still has 1.4 billion people."

Later, small protests saw molotov cocktails thrown and police responding with tear gas.

A brawl between pro- and anti-Beijing supporters. Credit: AP

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, now in their fourth month, have often descended into violence late in the day and at night.

A hardcore group of protesters says the extreme actions are needed to get the government’s attention.

Protesters have been on the streets and in buildings once again in Hong Kong. Credit: AP

Before the origami-folding, protesters at the Sha Tin New Town Plaza mall chanted slogans and sang a song that has become their anthem, backed by a small group playing on woodwind and brass instruments through their masks.

Many lined the balustrades of the three higher floors overlooking where others gathered in the wide space below.

Protesters arranging origami cranes used in a display at an anti-government rally inside a shopping mall at the Sha Tin district. Credit: AP

On Saturday night, police used tear gas and rubber rounds against protesters who threw petrol bombs towards them and set fires in streets.

Hong Kong’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, has agreed to withdraw an extradition bill that sparked the protests in June.

However, the protests have since morphed to encompass other demands, including fully democratic elections in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory and an independent investigation of complaints about police violence during earlier demonstrations.

Protesters say Beijing and Ms Lam’s government are eroding the “high degree of autonomy” and Western-style civil liberties promised to the former British colony when it was returned to China in 1997.

The unending protests are an embarrassment for China’s Communist Party ahead of October 1 celebrations of its 70th anniversary in power.

Tear gas fills the street as protesters continue to battle with police. Credit: AP

Hong Kong’s government has cancelled a fireworks display that day, citing concern for public safety.

Transit authorities closed two stations on the airport express train to guard against a possible disruption of transportation to the transportation hub, but none had materialised by late Sunday afternoon.

The Hong Kong International Airport Authority said the train would operate between the airport and the terminus station in the centre of the city, without making its usual stops in between.

Some airport bus routes were also suspended. Passengers were advised to leave sufficient time to reach the airport.