'I will fight until the end': Last Hong Kong PolyU protesters hold out at campus

'I will fight until the end': Last Hong Kong PolyU protesters hold out at campus

Anti-government protesters sleep at an underground car park in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Anti-government protesters sleep at an underground car park in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Nov 20, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

HONG KONG: Dozens of protesters stood firm inside a besieged Hong Kong University on Wednesday (Nov 20), as a standoff with police showed no signs of ending.

Protesters have held the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) campus since Sunday, wielding Motolov cocktails, bricks and arrows.

A large "SOS" sign was laid out across an open courtyard, apparently intended to be viewed from above.

READ: Options narrow for last Hong Kong campus protesters as arrests take a toll

READ: Dozens of Hong Kong protesters escape campus siege on motorbikes

A 20-year-old protester, who gave his name as Ken, said food and water supplies were running low.

“We will die because they don’t let me out,” he said. “Some people want to get out but they cannot. So we left this SOS.”


Protesters said about 50 of them remained after hundreds had fled deteriorating conditions and officials warned that police may fire live rounds. 

Around 20 of the holdouts are students of the university, a PolyU official said.

Protesters have been sleeping in a gymnasium at the beseiged PolyU campus
Protesters have been sleeping in a gymnasium at the beseiged PolyU campus. (Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

"NEVER GIVE UP"

A 15-year-old armed with a bow and arrow, who identified himself as William, said: "I don't ever give up. Yes, I will fight until the end.

"But ... it's very dangerous, because when you use the bow, the police must shoot you, with some unknown bullets. Maybe real bullets."

READ: Choking and crying, Hong Kong protesters pinned back on campus

Some protesters considered hiding in the maze of campus buildings, as they said a teacher advised them to do.


"I already know where I will hide," a 19-year-old student, who gave his name only as Paul, said as he emerged in a hoodie, shorts and slippers to ask about breakfast in the canteen.

"I have enough food for at least a week and then will see what happens," he said.

Protesters rest in a gymnasium in Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Nov 20, 2019
Protesters rest in a gymnasium in Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Nov 20, 2019. (Photo: AP/Ng Han Guan)

Two protesters in full body armour, wielding metal rods, were going to get some sleep in the library after their night shift watching police movements outside.


"We need some energy to get ready for the big fight. Now that there's not many of us left they may want to come in," said a former student named Marc, 26.

"We know this place, it's our home and it is a maze. And we have weapons. We're not going to give up now, it's too late for that," he said.

READ: Anxious families wait outside besieged Hong Kong campus

On Monday, some protesters made daring escapes by sliding down ropes and running to motorcycles waiting to get them away, while others attempted to leave through the sewers.

hong kong protests polyu escape (1)
Dozens of Hong Kong protesters escaped a besieged Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Nov 18 by lowering themselves on a rope from a footbridge to a highway. Once on the road they were seen being picked up by waiting motorcyclists. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

A rescue diver enters the sewer to search for anti-government protesters
A rescue diver enters the sewer to search for anti-government protesters who tried to escape from the besieged Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 19, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

"It has been a disastrous life for us spending these days in Polytechnic University, because we can't live here. The supply of food, water, electricity is going to run out," said a student named Alesa, who said she had tried twice to escape through the sewer.

"It's in vain," she said. "I'm a bit upset, but overall, I'm peaceful. I think if a generation are destined to be criminals, who is to save the next generation?" she said.

A protester cries as she walks towards the police to surrender, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Univer
A protester cries as she walks towards the police to surrender, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), in Hong Kong, China November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam called for the protesters’ surrender on Tuesday, adding that those over 18 would face rioting charges, but minors would not be arrested.

Police have arrested more than 1,100 people on charges including rioting and possession of offensive weapons, they said.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: Agencies/ga

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