When police finally moved against the protesters surrounding the Tsim Sha Tsui police station, it was quick and decisive.
The sound of tear gas spewing from canisters became almost constant, as did the burning sensation from the white smoke.
Police dispersal: The police rapidly pushed protesters back in a series of charges – tear gas, advance, tear gas, advance.
Within five minutes they’d cleared the area outside the police station, but for those minutes, Hong Kong’s most-popular shopping district became a war zone.
Protester response: Protesters responded by throwing back empty tear gas canisters, pelting police with bricks and shining lasers in their eyes.
Police on Austin Road are now warning protesters to disperse immediately, saying they are participating in an illegal assembly as they veered off the police-approved march route.
Officers have also announced that they are going to collect criminal evidence at the scene and make arrests.
Watch protesters shine lasers at the police: