Anti-WTO Protesters Turn Aggressive in Hong Kong

After a peaceful march through the streets of Hong Kong, activists opposed to the World Trade Organization turned more aggressive Tuesday evening. Dozens tried to break through police barriers and head toward the complex were WTO negotiators are meeting but were held back by Hong Kong riot police. VOA broadcaster Pros Laput is at the scene of the protest, and spoke with editor Kate Pound Dawson in our Asia News Center.

DAWSON: Can you describe what's going on around you?

LAPUT: There is a tense standoff between the police, about 200 of them and about a 100 protesters on the other side. The protesters are trying to get through the police barricade and there were several attempts to do that, while the police reacted by shifting their defense moves. There are several protesters on the left … shouting to the policemen to back off and give way to the protesters, but I think the police are quite determined to stand their ground.

DAWSON: Are they (the police) firing pepper spray or tear gas or anything?

LAPUT: The police officers are geared with some tear gas launchers and some pepper spray but I don't think they will use it at the moment. It's just like a standoff between them. It's probably a matter of someone who is gong to be brave enough to move in and at the moment there's no indication of that.

DAWSON: At this point does it look like any of the protesters have any weapons, clubs, rocks, anything like that?

LAPUT: I didn't see from my perspective any of them having those weapons, having clubs or bats, things like that. But they are very prepared, many of them have hankies and water to protect themselves in any event the police are going to use tear gas.

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