This was the seventh weekend of mass protest in Hong Kong.

It may have looked similar to previous marches to begin with, but this had a different edge, the protestors marching to a different beat. Better organised, angrier, ready for a fight.

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The fury they directed at the police quarters was the first sign. This demonstration – the first one not sanctioned by authorities – was in response to an attack last week.

Protesters returning home to Yuen Long were set upon by goons in white shirts, 45 people ended up in hospital.

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People wondered where police were then. There was no wondering that today. Initially some were isolated – a van was surrounded, a window smashed in and the windscreen covered in graffiti. Authority at the mercy of the crowd.

They came out in force shortly after, in neat ranks, firing round after round of tear gas so that the whole air stung. Protesters found their own weapons, bricks and concrete and anything to hand.

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They made barricades using fences tied together in triangles with cable ties, and they were determined not to be moved.



Hong Kong police fires tear gas at protesting activists







Defiant protesters hit by tear gas

But the police pushed them back, further and further to the metro station where last week’s assault took place.

Even at the close, chaos reigned. In the entrance to the station tear gas was still being fired in. A man in front of me took a ricocheted canister to the head and went reeling.

Hong Kong felt like it was about to snap. More protests are planned. Today felt extreme but it could simply be the new baseline.

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