Warning Alert | Nov. 14: 11:09 a.m. EST
Activists call for continued protests in Hong Kong, China, from Nov. 14. Expect transport disruptions. Clashes highly likely.

 

  • Incident: General strike
  • Location: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security, business and transport disruptions; possible clashes
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Summary

Activists have called for continued protests and an indefinite general strike in Hong Kong from Nov. 14. The action - which is part of a broader protest movement - was initially launched to condemn the Hong Kong Police Force for alleged involvement in the recent death of a protester. Violence escalated significantly from Nov. 11 after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Participation in a general work stoppage remains low; however, increased employee absenteeism is likely, and business disruptions are possible in some sectors. Major banks in the city closed a combined 250 branches at around 1400 Nov. 13 due to demonstrations and transport disruptions. Several schools have canceled classes through at least Nov. 14; additional closures will probably occur Nov. 15.

Rallies and protests will continue in business centers on Hong Kong Island, especially Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Associated marches are possible. Activists have held spontaneous "flash mob" gatherings in locations throughout the city. Demonstrations are highly likely to take place near university campuses, as well as near Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations, shopping centers, police stations, and government facilities. Activists have set fire to buildings and MTR stations and trains and vandalized businesses. Further attacks on outlets owned by companies or individuals perceived as supporting the government could occur.

Police and protesters have clashed in several areas of Hong Kong from Nov. 11; additional violent incidents are highly likely. Violence has been most intense at the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus, but fighting between protesters and police has also taken place near other university campuses. Reports indicate that some mainland Chinese and international students have departed campuses in the city due to the threat of additional violence. Clashes have also occurred across the city, including Central, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Tai Po, Sha Tin, and Kwai Hing, among others. Further localized clashes are likely. Groups of protesters have attacked bystanders who criticize their actions. On Nov. 11, protesters beat a Japanese national who was taking pictures of protesters' faces; activists appear to have assumed the victim was from mainland China.

Ground transport disruptions are highly likely to continue. Activists have erected and defended roadblocks at key intersections and along busy roadways. Protesters continue to target MTR operations by vandalizing stations, disrupting trains, and throwing debris onto tracks. MTR infrastructure will also likely continue to be targeted with arson attacks. Officials intend to halt MTR service at 2330 per recent practice and to limit Airport Express train services to just between Hong Kong Station and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) during evening hours. While officials are attempting to maintain service during the demonstrations, authorities can close stations and alter or suspend MTR and light rail service due to protest activity and poor safety conditions. Roadblocks, clashes, and security measures will continue to cause localized traffic and bus disruptions in areas where demonstrations are occurring.


 

Advice

Monitor local media for protest updates, as demonstrators are unlikely to announce plans in advance. Avoid protest sites due to the threat of localized clashes. Immediately leave the area and shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building if violence erupts. Confirm appointments and transport reservations. Make allowances for possible business disruptions. Consider work-from-home or early-release arrangements. Allow extra time for ground transportation. Avoid politically sensitive conversations in public areas, and do not take photographs of protesters or police activity.