Hong Kong 1956 riots
|Hong Kong 1956 riots|
|Literal meaning||Double Tenth riots|
The Hong Kong 1956 riots started with looting and attacks by pro-Nationalist civilians on pro-Communist civilians and property in Hong Kong during Double Ten Day, 10 October 1956, and soon developed into larger, and more violent riots.
A government resettlement officer ordered the removal of some Nationalist flags, on celebration of 1911 October Revolution on 10 October 1956.  Tensions flared shortly after, when mobs spread out from other settlements in Kowloon peninsula, looting shops and damaging properties knownly belong to Communist sympathizers. The authorities refrained from firm intervention, hoping that the disorder would die out with the end of Double Ten Day festival; but instead full-scale riot developed next day.
Outbreak of violence
The Communist areas were the main targets of Nationalist attacks, the most violent of which took place in the town of Tsuen Wan, five miles from central Kowloon. A mob stormed and ransacked a clinic and welfare center, killing four people. Some people were taken to the Nationalist headquarters and beaten. Communist-owned factories were attacked, and some people were brutally murdered. Inevitably a few foreigners became involved. The worst such case occurred in Kowloon, when a taxi was fired upon on Nathan Road and a passenger, the Swiss Consul Fritz Ernst's wife, died of burns 48 hours later. Most casualties occurred in the incidents in Tsuen Wan between Nationalists and Communists.
Eventually Hong Kong Government decided to take decisive action. Colonial Secretary Edgeworth B. David ordered extra manpower from the British Forces Hong Kong, including armoured troops of 7th Hussars, to reinforce the Hong Kong Police on dispersing all rioters. Communists were given sanctuary in the police compounds, and by 12 October the riots had subsided leaving 15 killed by the rioters, and 44 killed by police action. In total 59 were killed, and 500 were injured. Property damage was estimated at US$ $1,000,000.
In the subsequent trials four people were convicted of murder and given death penalties.
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