The weekly | How a Hong Kong campus became a fiery battlefield

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Producer director Andrea Schmidt

Protesters who grabbed smartphones and wore masks took to the streets. Riot police with armor fired water cannons and tear gas to reaffirm authority. For months, the two sides clashed in a series of increasingly violent clashes at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.

The siege of PolyU last November was the climax of intense clashes between the Hong Kong police, who had exhausted their tolerance of dissent, and protesters who refused to give up their freedoms without fighting.

Watch the video from the front in PolyU as the area became an urban battlefield. Listen to the masked protesters, too scared to speak openly, describe on camera how they locked themselves inside the university buildings and desperately tried to escape days after the riot police stormed the school.