Hong Kong Polytechnic University siege officially ends, ready to reopen in new year

By Helene Fung

On Friday, the Hong Kong Police officially ended the lockdown around Polytechnic University. It was a low key affair without any formal announcement.

Police guarding the campus gradually walked off after around 11:30 am, and people, including many university officials, were soon allowed to enter.

The university campus became a battleground earlier this month, when protesters barricaded themselves in and countered riot police’s water cannon and tear gas with petrol bombs and home-made barricades and weapons.

The police said on Friday they had completed the removal of all dangerous materials in the campus, seizing petrol bombs,explosive items, bottles of corrosive liquid and other weapons. They have arrested more than 1,300 people during the turmoil at the university.

Journalists on the ground said the university now looks like a deserted ghost town, littered with broken glass, discarded helmets, masks and walls full of defiant graffiti.

After an inspection hours after they regained control of the campus from the police, university president Jin-guang Teng said that they were confident that classes can resume next semester as scheduled, on 13thJanuary 13, 2020.

Further demonstrations in Hong Kong are planned over the weekend, including a rally by secondary school students, a protest against the use of tear gas near children, and a “march of gratitude” to the US consulate, for the signing of two bills sanctioning Hong Kong human rights violators.

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