Authorities raised security levels on Wednesday around Hong Kong after a night of renewed violence.

Many of the clashes took place at university campuses, with a large number of students joining the anti-government protests, despite Chief Executive Carrie Lam urging students to obey the law.

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong tweeted that the clash was "injuring students."

Protesters stepped up their "blossom everywhere" campaign of road blocks and vandalism in an attempt to bring the city to its knees. During the Wednesday lunchtime rush hour over 1,000 demonstrators blocked roads in the heart of the city's financial district. Many wore face masks in defiance of an ongoing ban.

Scores of riot police tried to disperse the crowds, beating some people. One police spokesman warned that the city was on the "brink of a total breakdown."

Hong Kong Hospital Authority estimated on Wednesday morning that 81 people were injured in the preceding 24 hours. A man shot by police on Monday and another man set on fire by protesters both remain in critical condition.


Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG Images

Demonstrators are seen with masks and umbrellas during an anti-government protest at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, November 12, 2019.

Schools suspended amid safety concerns

Police also used force to gain control of a bridge from which protesters were dropping objects onto a road below.

"The police have a duty to ensure public safety is maintained," Security Secretary John Lee told reporters. "That's why we had to take charge of the bridge formerly controlled by the protesters."

University classes were suspended on Wednesday while parents were advised that they could keep their children at home. The Education Bureau plans to shut all schools on Thursday for safety reasons and many financial institutions asked their staff to work from home.

Many subways and rail stations were closed as protesters targeted commuters. Gasoline bombs were thrown and fires lit. Police warned protesters to stop violent acts.

The events of the last few days have been among the most bloody since protests began in June. Protests originally began in opposition of an unpopular Chinese extradition law which was later overturned.

Protesters have since taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the Hong Kong system of government as a whole.

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This article was originally published on Deutsche Welle. Read the original article here.

TNL Editor: Daphne K. Lee (@thenewslensintl)

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