Hong Kong police resorted to drawing firearms, using water cannons and tear gas against pro-democracy protesters as demonstrations turned violent on Sunday. As a result of the violent clashes, the police have arrested 36 people on multiple charges on Monday. The youngest arrested demonstrator in police custody is 12-years-old.

The week which followed the complete shut-down of the Hong Kong International Airport saw peaceful protests without any police violence. However, over the last weekend, demonstrations took a violent turn, forcing the to police deploy water cannons. It has been months since the police had to rely on water cannons against the anti-government protesters.

Police did not stop at using water cannons to suppress the protests. As reported by Reuters, six policemen were forced to draw their weapons and a warning shot had to be fired in the air during the clash.

Hong Kong 20 years of Chinese rule
protesters clash with riot police Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

The weekend protests, which started off in the Tsuen Wan district, eventually spread to the Tsim Sha Tsui district. A peaceful congregation of demonstrators had planned to continue the protests in the designated areas of the city. However, a group of renegade protesters broke off from the peaceful assembly and started demonstrations in undesignated areas.

The group used police barricades to block off the area. When police arrived, protesters started throwing bricks and petrol bombs. The police deemed this as a "large-scale public disturbance" and resorted to using water cannons against the group.

Water cannon deployed toward protesters. pic.twitter.com/k3QgJVacuu

— Nathan VanderKlippe (@nvanderklippe) August 25, 2019

Police have cracked down on the protesters who instigated and took part in the violent clashes. Both policemen and protesters ended up injured. The arrest of 29 men and seven women, including a 12-year-old child, was made by the police to make an example of the demonstrators.

Since the August 12 clash between the police and demonstrators at the airport, the city had seen widely peaceful protests. The Chinese government has placed multiple military forces in bordering cities which might have led to the protests being watered down.

The Chinese government is also cracking down on Hong Kong residents who are traveling to the mainland. Hong Kong residents travelling to the rest of China are facing random checks and even the threat of detention. One such popular incident revolves around Hong Kong resident Simon Cheng, a member of the British Consulate, who went missing from the neighbouring city of Shenzhen.

Cheng had been missing since August 8, until it was revealed that he had been detained by the Shenzhen police. The police later claimed that he was detained as punishment. There are many unreported cases of Hong Kong residents being targeted by Chinese police.

With the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China approaching, the Chinese government is eager to end the demonstrators by October 1. Demonstrators have planned to continue protests this week. Demonstrators are to assemble at Cathy Pacific Airways' headquarters on Wednesday.