Joshua Wong, prominent student activist from Hong Kong's 2014 Umbrella Movement, blames the deteriorated relationship between police and the people of Hong Kong for the Mong Kok riots on Monday.
"Those relations have reached a critical point of hostility and Hong Kong demonstrators are using violence to challenge the police's violence and fight against the rule of law," said Joshua Wong, in a self-authored TwReporter.org article.
A ballooning crowd began protesting government officials' clearing of illegal street vendors -- many of whom were selling local food -- at a central intersection on Monday night, which was also the first day of the Lunar New Year. The riot police were also deployed to the area.
Tensions quickly escalated into a violent clash between protestors and the police in Tuesday's early hours. Protesters threw large objects and bricks pried from the sidewalks at the police, who had initially fired warning shots and then used pepper spray and batons on protestors.