Ryan Lee, a 27-year-old computer engineer, only started taking part in Hong Kong’s demonstrations in June. Since then, it has been a steep learning curve. He has tackled a police officer to the ground to rescue another protester, tossed teargas canisters back at the police and covered the gas grenades with the metal dishes commonly used in Hong Kong for steaming fish.
Within weeks Lee has transformed into a militant “fighter” – one of the black-clad protesters in full protective gear who have faced off week after week with police behind makeshift barricades. Saturday was no exception – violent clashes between protesters and police erupted throughout the city as they marched to mark the fifth anniversary of a decision by Beijing to limit democratic reforms.