Nov. 12 (UPI) — Riot police in Hong Kong on Tuesday fired tear gas at protesters who built street barricades, set fires and threw gas bombs at officers on a second straight day of violence.

Black-clad activists joined office workers in Hong Kong’s central business district for the demonstrations. They later crouched behind umbrellas and made their way toward riot police, calling them “murderers” and “rapists.”

Police fired multiple rounds of tear gas in response and the city closed roads and its transit system. Some schools canceled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday. Violence also erupted at Chinese University, where students threw gas bombs and drew tear gas from officers near a bridge that links the campus to Tolo Harbor.

The head of the university, Rocky Taun, acted as an intermediary between students and police as he tried to quell the violence. Police agreed at one point to pull back to the end of the bridge. One student activist, who was masked and armed, was arrested and could face serious offenses.

Tuesday was the second consecutive day or violent clashes, but demonstrations in Hong Kong have been going for six months. During that time, more than 3,000 activists have been arrested demonstrating on various issues — starting with a proposed extradition law.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam called the activists “extremely selfish” for paralyzing the city and said it’s wrong to believe their actions will push the government to give in to their demands. Police have blamed protesters for pushing Hong Kong to the “brink of total collapse.”

“If anyone finds excuses for the violence of rioters, we suggest they do some soul-searching,” said police spokesperson Kong Wing-cheung. “You are indeed an accomplice. If anyone has any wishful thinking that they can achieve their so-called political demands by violence, please wake up.”

China’s state-run Global Times said the protesters are “no different from terrorists like Islamic State.” Beijing said its Liberation Army and police force are ready to reinforce Hong Kong, when needed.

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