HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s campuses were on the front lines of its political crisis on Wednesday, as residents braced for a third straight day of traffic jams and ugly clashes between riot police officers and demonstrators.

The protests that have roiled the semiautonomous Chinese city since June have generally come at night, on weekends or during public holidays. This week’s disruptions are notable because they have strained the city’s infrastructure during ordinary workdays, forcing commuters to choose whether to venture outside and risk being caught up in clashes or tear gas.

Schools and universities are flash points. A day after young demonstrators staged a fiery standoff against the police on the fringes of a university campus, the Education Bureau said on Wednesday that it was up to parents whether to send their children to school — a move that angered two prominent teachers’ unions.

Here’s the latest on the Hong Kong protests.

  • Student demonstrators with umbrellas, masks, bricks and shields geared up on Wednesday at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a campus that has become a focal point of the confrontation between the protesters and the police.

  • On Tuesday night, riot police officers fired dozens of rounds of tear gas at demonstrators who set a giant blaze and threw gasoline bombs in a clash that lasted for hours and left dozens injured.

  • Protesters at other universities were also building barricades at campus entrances and digging up paving stones in preparation for a potential standoff with the police.

  • The activists say they are defending their campuses from police intrusion. The police assert that they have to stop demonstrators from blocking roads, throwing bricks or trying to disrupt rail services.

  • Ever since protests began in June over a contentious, but since-withdrawn, extradition bill, the movement has been driven in large part by large numbers of high school and university-age students. But until recently, campuses were a relative safe zone from violent street clashes.

  • There were widespread transit disruptions across the Asian financial center on Wednesday, marking the third straight day that protesters had impeded some of the city’s essential infrastructure.

  • As of late Wednesday morning, there were delays or service disruptions on eight of Hong Kong’s 11 subway lines, the city’s subway operator said. Two major lines, including one line that runs from a harborside district on the Kowloon Peninsula to the border of the Chinese mainland, were completely suspended.

  • In some Kowloon neighborhoods, streets and intersections were strewn with trash, bricks, bamboo poles and other debris that the protesters had laid to impede traffic.

  • In Kowloon’s Mong Kok neighborhood, drivers were cautiously maneuvering around obstacles as cleaners brought in huge bins with the help of riot police officers. The scent of smoke and tear gas from clashes a night earlier was still on the breeze, forcing cleaners and pedestrians to cover their mouths and noses.

  • The demonstrations that began in June have gradually morphed into calls for greater democracy and police accountability. Many in the movement also want the United States Congress and President Trump to enact a bill that would force the executive branch to, among other things, review Hong Kong’s special trade status each year.

  • On Wednesday morning, a few dozen peaceful protesters marched to the United States Consulate in central Hong Kong, handing out copies of letters calling for passage of the American legislation, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

  • Vincent Ku, a middle-aged insurance manager and graduate of Chinese University of Hong Kong, took the day off from work to join the procession. He said he had been dismayed to see the police action the night before at his alma mater.

    “It’s not a war,” he said. “These are peaceful students.”

Tiffany May, Keith Bradsher, Ezra Cheung and Austin Ramzy contributed reporting.

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