Reporting during the Hong Kong protests


♫♫♫ [Sasa Petricic] Being in the middle of the protest started out being fairly benign but within a matter of weeks, certainly after the first couple of months of these protests things really did become much more dangerous. Loads and loads of tear gas coming at you, you can hear it popping. The protesters are trying to send it back, to throw it back but that’s not being very effective. There was tear gas flying. There were rocks being thrown. And in some cases fire bombs by the protesters themselves. The police were becoming much more
aggressive toward everybody including journalists. So they were hitting people to get them out of the way with their clubs. They were firing tear gas canisters in some cases at people’s heads or certainly at that level. This turned into really a battle between protesters and the establishment and the police itself. And the society was just split right down the middle So standing in the middle of it you really felt that it was a war zone. [Chris Brown] Hong Kong streets turned white again as tear gas that burns the skin coated protestors who refused to take down street barricades. In an instant you have to grab your gas mask and put it on and then make an instant decision about what do you do. We spent about two minutes inside the tear gas zone and then we decided we had to get out of there because we could see that the police had water cannons we could hear what sounded like rubber bullets being fired and in fact that’s what it was. It’s a very bad place to be. I think for us the scariest most dangerous moment came one night in Kowloon. We saw this group of maybe 30 people or so up ahead and the police began to chase them. But just as they got close, from outside of an alley came another huge crowd maybe three or four hundred people. One of the police officers fell I thought he was going to get beat up perhaps even killed. One of his colleagues pulled out his pistol and pointed it at the protesters and then fired up in the air. And at the time that was the first use of live ammunition in this protest and it marked a serious escalation. It did however, buy the officers enough time to get back on their feet and then to run down the road and they eventually locked themselves in a building and they had to wait for reinforcements to come. And this is that very scary scene ended with the riot police taking shelter in this building here. It was striking to me how fast things changed how unpredictable it was and ultimately how very dangerous it could have been. You know describing Hong Kong and the situation there to Canadians doesn’t seem that difficult. They grabbed Chris Young yesterday. He’s a Canadian who spent his teens in Vancouver, his adult life in Hong Kong. And last night he spent chained to a hospital bed after a heavy-handed arrest. And they feel that they almost have a duty to explain what’s going on there. So they helped me tell Canadians that story.

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