Now five months in, the Hong Kong protests are signaling a new phase, one where frustration and exhaustion on both sides fuels an escalating cycle of violence.

Monday saw a string of disturbing incidents, including the point-blank shooting of a protester using live rounds, the apparent immolation of a pro-Beijing individual who was arguing with protesters, tear gas being used to disperse crowds during daylight in the downtown business district, and a motorcycle officer ramming into groups of protesters, seemingly on purpose. Tuesday brought campus-wide clashes between police and students at CUHK, more tear gas in Central, and a series of flash mobs that paralyzed transport through the territory.

Escalating aggression has become ‘business as usual’ as protesters and police clash day in, day out with no end to the crisis in sight.