Hong Kong police fire tear gas, water cannon after protesters hurl petrol bombs

By Jessie Yeung, Julia Hollingsworth, Steve George and James Griffiths, CNN

Updated 8:46 p.m. ET, September 15, 2019
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8:46 p.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Our live coverage of Sunday's protests in Hong Kong has now ended. If you didn't follow along in real time, read below to see how an unapproved march turned into a night of chaos.

10:27 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

A man beaten by protesters in Tin Hau

CNN's Ivan Watson witnessed a man being beaten up by a group of protesters in Hong Kong’s Tin Hau neighborhood. It is not clear why he was targeted.

9:05 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Chaotic scenes during HK's 15th consecutive weekend of unrest

Hong Kong police fired tear gas at various locations across the territory on Sunday, attempting to disperse groups of activists attending unauthorized protests.

Police try to clear pro-democracy protesters in the Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong.
Police try to clear pro-democracy protesters in the Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong. Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

Police warned people to avoid certain areas as dispersal operations continued.

Police was firing tear gas at the protesters.
Police was firing tear gas at the protesters. Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

The unauthorized march took off from Causeway Bay district, marking the 15th consecutive weekend of unrest.

Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at the pro-democracy protesters.
Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at the pro-democracy protesters. Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

8:39 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Subway stations are being shut

Hong Kong's subway operator MTR is shutting train stations during the protests. It said the Hong Kong Island line would not stop at Admiralty station, Wan Chai station and Causeway Bay station. 

MTR found itself under heavy criticism from Chinese state media last month, which has accused it of helping participants of the city's pro-democracy protests.

The company, which is Hong Kong's sole subway operator as well as a real estate owner, said it would halt train services and immediately close stations "if fights, vandalism or other acts of violence occur."

8:36 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Riot police greeted by insults at Fortress Hill 

From CNN's Eric Cheung

More than 100 riot police officers have gathered at Fortress Hill in Hong Kong. Some residents have greeted them by shouting insults.

The crowd clapped and sang a popular song that ridicules police officers.

The riot police have entered the Fortress Hill subway station following the verbal confrontation.

8:36 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Protesters take out their frustrations on police

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth

Confrontations between black-clad protesters and riot police have become commonplace in recent weeks.

But earlier on Sunday, there was a face-off of a different kind.

As around 100 armed riot police began moving from their post on Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay, a crowd of people began yelling furiously at the officers, jeering at them.

Unlike the young, masked protesters in Admiralty earlier, these people were mostly middle aged.

Many wore T-shirts, flip-flops, and no protection on their face at all.

It's become more usual to see middle-aged people verbally take out their frustrations on police — especially as the protests move into different neighborhoods.

7:48 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

Protests become fragmented

Sunday's protest has become fragmented, with the majority of the frontline demonstrators now dispersed throughout the downtown area, following police action earlier to clear Harcourt Road outside Hong Kong's legislature.

Throughout Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and into Tin Hau, scattered bands of protesters are playing a cat and mouse style game in an attempt to avoid police.

Many protesters are now attempting to enter the Causeway Bay subway station, which has been guarded by a heavy police presence, presumably in a bid to leave the scene. 

7:32 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

How a Hong Kong protest song became an unofficial 'anthem'

From CNN's Eric Cheung, Julia Hollingsworth and Isaac Yee

In glitzy malls across Hong Kong, people are spontaneously breaking into a song. It's not just any tune -- it's a rousing ballad that some are calling the city's new, if unofficial "national anthem."

On Wednesday and Thursday nights, large crowds in malls across the city broke into the anthem, which includes lyrics such as "For Hong Kong, may freedom reign." Earlier in the week, football fans at a World Cup qualifier match between Hong Kong and Iran booed the Chinese national anthem, entitled "March of the Volunteers," before singing the new protest tune. It could be heard again throughout today's protest march.

Since the song was released on YouTube at the end of August, it has attracted over 1.6 million views. A video clip of the orchestral version of the song has over 1 million views, and features a choir and orchestra decked out in the unofficial protest uniform of hard hats and face masks, playing instruments as white fog -- intended to symbolize tear gas -- swirls around them.

Read more about the song, and the man who first composed it here

7:26 a.m. ET, September 15, 2019

The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge

Analysis by CNN's Ben Westcott

For months, October 1 has loomed over the mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, as a whispered deadline for the ruling Chinese Communist Party to take action to end the unrest.

On that day, Beijing will be hoping to project an image of national strength and unity with a military parade through the city to mark 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

It's a significant milestone that China's leaders will not want overshadowed by protests in Hong Kong, which have grown in intensity since mass demonstrations began in June.

But what action the party might take is unclear and highly debated, with some even saying the greater threat will be after the anniversary, if protesters disrupt or distract from the day's celebrations and embarrass the country's Communist leaders.

The Hong Kong government has said there is no such deadline for action by Beijing to end the protests. In audio leaked to Reuters, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam can be heard reassuring business leaders that "they and ourselves have no expectations that we could clear up this thing before the 1st of October."

But the whispers have continued, with no clear consensus on what October 1 might mean for Hong Kong.

Read more here