Hong Kong 1981 riots

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In Hong Kong, the riots of 1981 are two riots on the Christmas Day of 1981 and the New Year's Day of 1982. Since the majority of the participants were youths, the riots were also named as the Christmas youth riots of 1981 and New Year youth riots of 1982. The riots had a long-term impact on the government's youth policy.


A riot broke out in the early morning of Christmas Day, 25 December 1981 in Central, Hong Kong. In a minor road accident, a car driver accidentally hit a pedestrian, soon arousing unrest among the youth in the area that eventually evolved into a riot. In the ensuing chaos, 11 were injured and 7 cars were damaged. The police deployed the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) to disperse the crowd. At 5 AM, the riot subsided and 18 were arrested. The same day, the Government of Hong Kong increased the number of policemen patrolling major business areas and kept cars away from the Central District.

Another youth riot broke out on New Year's Day of 1982 in other areas.


The Government of Hong Kong addressed the increasing "problems" with youth, citing disobedience in school and the popularity of snooker and arcade games among youth. The government channeled additional resources into youth welfare.

Two other riots in 1982 and 1984 were ignited by football fans and a tax on taxis.

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