Protesters arm themselves with bows and arrows as Hong Kong violence intensifies
We're wrapping up our coverage of ongoing disruptions in Hong Kong this evening, barring any major developments.
Police have conducted clearances in multiple neighborhoods across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, deploying tear gas and armored vehicles and carrying out numerous arrests.
Protesters remain in Kowloon Tong and some other areas, but not in the large numbers seen earlier today. They have built barricades and set fires, but resistance to police activity has been somewhat limited compared to the violence earlier this week.
It's much quieter tonight at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in Sha Tin, which was the site of violent clashes throughout Tuesday night. Protesters were fortifying the campus all day today, building large barricades and even a makeshift catapult.
For full coverage of the day's developments, read our full story here.
Police have fired multiple rounds of tear gas in Tai Po, in the northeastern New Territories, where protesters had blocked roads and built barricades, live feeds from local broadcasters show.
Clearance operations are also underway in Sai Wan Ho on Hong Kong island, and in the Kowloon neighborhood of Mong Kok. A black armored police van could be seen patrolling Sai Wan Ho.
Earlier, police cleared much of Central, the city's major business district, on Hong Kong Island, loading dozens of arrested protesters onto large white coaches.
So far there has been no action tonight at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the site of violent clashes on Tuesday, where protesters have been fortifying and digging in all day.
Hong Kong High Court has dismissed an urgent bid to bar “unauthorized” police entry into CUHK, filed by a student at the school, according to local media.
Hong Kong's Education Bureau says that "in view of the current and anticipated traffic conditions as well as the overall report from schools in the territory," all schools from kindergarten to high school level will be suspended Thursday "for the sake of safety."
The Bureau received considerable criticism from parents and teachers for not suspending classes today.
"A spokesman for the Education Bureau (EDB) said today (November 13) that the safety and well-being of students have always been the bureau's prime considerations," a government statement said. "During the class suspension, schools must keep their premises open and arrange for staff, who return to school under safe conditions, to take care of students at school. If parents need to send their children to school, they may continue to do so. They should pay attention to safety on the way and maintain contact with their schools."
The statement added that "there has been extensive damage to society caused by violent protesters in the last couple of days. Apart from causing dangerous road conditions, there were also malicious damages to school private light buses ('nanny vans') and intimidation against schools of varying degrees. The situation has become outrageous. The EDB strongly condemned those acts which deliberately endanger students' safety and deprive them of their basic right to learn."
Meanwhile, police clearance operations continue tonight in multiple parts of the city, and protesters are dug in at the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus in Sha Tin.
Live feeds from local broadcasters showed police in Central, where a clearance operation has been ongoing for around an hour now, loading arrested protesters onto a large white coach. Much of the barricades in the city's business district have now been cleared.
Meanwhile, across the harbor in Kowloon, police have fired tear gas at protesters in Mong Kok, who set fires and have covered streets in bricks to prevent police vehicles moving forward.
Just joining us? This is the current situation.
Protesters gathered throughout Hong Kong today, throwing up barricades and blocking roads across the city.
The largest protest camp is at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Sha Tin, the site of multiple clashes on Tuesday with police, who protesters say laid "siege" to the campus, and were resisted with petrol bombs, bricks and arrows.
Police clearances: Operations have been launched against protest camps in Mong Kok in Kowloon, and in Central, the city's major business district on Hong Kong Island. Protesters largely did not resist those clearances, but the two most fortified camps remain. Live feeds showed numerous people being arrested.
Heavily fortified campus: Protesters were pouring into CUHK all day, bringing with them supplies, including extra protective gear, food and water. Massive barricades have been thrown up, and protesters even built a makeshift catapult. It remains unclear if police will attempt to enter the campus again tonight.
Growing chaos: This week has seen an uptick in disruption that seems unlikely to stop regardless of what happens tonight. Protests have been going on for almost six months now, but the major unrest has been confined to the weekend and public holidays. This week has seen protests breaking out early in the day, disrupting commutes and, in some instances police have fired tear gas even before the working day begins.
The political unrest in Asia's premier financial hub has taken a dark, violent turn this week. But the turmoil is not scaring investors and companies away -- at least, not yet.
Hong Kong looks likely to retain its crown as the top stock exchange for IPOs in the world this year, according to data from Refinitiv. The city already hosted a blockbuster listing from AB InBev earlier this fall, and is now reportedly gearing up for Alibaba's (BABA) secondary listing in the coming weeks. The latter could lift the Hong Kong exchange above the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq as this year's largest venue for public offerings.
"I haven't seen the turmoil here [in Hong Kong] affect the investment scene yet," said Houston Huang, head of China investment banking for JPMorgan (JPM). He pointed out that many of the big companies listed in Hong Kong don't rely on the city for its business, and so are unaffected by protests.
"Plus, all the conditions that make Hong Kong one of the best trading and investment platforms haven't changed," he added. For example, the city has programs that facilitate investment between China and the rest of the world. "I don't see its standing as a financial center shaken."
Six major Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong ran advertisements urging people to stop "rioting" ahead of the Hong Kong District Council elections later this month, during which the city's residents will return local officials.
"Use your vote to go against violence and save Hong Kong," the ad read.
Two papers not to run the ad were Apple Daily, founded by pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai, and Epoch Times.
Hong Kong pop star and pro-democracy activist Denise Ho tweeted an image showing the covers.
Hong Kong's largest English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, did not run the ad. The Post is owned by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and China's richest man.
Police have launched operations in Mong Kok and Central, two districts where protesters have been gathering all day.
Live feeds from local broadcasters showed large numbers of riot police in both areas. Numerous arrests appeared to have been made. So far no tear gas or other non-lethal weaponry has been used, and protester resistance has been limited.
Protesters continue to prepare in Kowloon Tong, where they have thrown up large barricades, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus in Sha Tin.
In a statement tweeted in the afternoon local time, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen accused Hong Kong police of "repressing students" last night at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"Law enforcement exists to protect the people and government exists to serve the people," the statement read. "When the police no longer protect citizens and the government no longer does what is best for its people, the people lose their trust in the government."
Tsai urged the government to stop the violence, and for the international community to support the protesters.
"The blood of young Hong Kongers should not be sacrificed to decorate the faces of the Beijing authorities," she wrote.
Taiwan -- a self-ruled democratic island off the coast of mainland China -- is preparing for a presidential election in January. Taiwan and the mainland have been separately governed since the end of a bloody civil war in 1949. Cross-straits tensions have heightened since the Hong Kong protests began in June.