Hong Kong protests: 20 injured after second night of clashes

Twenty injured in another night of violence, threatening to undermine efforts for talks between students and government

Hong Kong police and pro-democracy protesters have clashed for the second night in the gentrifying neighbourhood of Mong Kok, threatening to undermine a day of efforts by students and government officials to defuse tensions as the unprecedented demonstrations stretch into their third week.

The government said 20 people were injured in clashes which began around midnight on Saturday when riot police launched a baton charge at a large crowd on Nathan Road, one of the area’s main thoroughfares; the protesters retreated about 50m but then quickly regrouped donning goggles, masks and construction helmets. Many held umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray.

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Hong Kong police dismantle protest sites in dawn raids

Hundreds of officers swoop on Mong Kok district to clear away demonstrators’ metal barricades and bamboo poles

Hong Kong police have cleared out one of the city’s main pro-democracy protest sites with no resistance, marking a new government strategy of dismantling the barricades with quiet, stepwise operations rather than shows of force.

Protesters in the working-class neighbourhood of Mong Kok said hundreds of officers, some carrying riot shields, began clearing the zone at 7am on Friday morning without notice. Within half an hour police had removed the metal barricades, bamboo poles and heavy recycling bins protesters had used to block off a four-way intersection. About 30 people lay on the ground during the operation, refusing to move.

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Don’t Forget Our Original Intention [Statement from OCLP]

We are all outraged by the extrajudicial punishment dished out on protesters by the police. Today the police finally decided to suspend from duty the seven police officers who allegedly carried out the attacks, and will conduct a criminal investigation. OCLP is paying close attention to the progress of the investigation and urges the authorities to make the results of the investigation public as soon as possible, as well as the investigations into excessive force used by the police in dispersing the protesters in Lung Wo Road.

Since the police used excessive force in the clearance operation in the early morning of the 15th of this month, some ‘sporadic acts of occupation’ and obstruction of traffic sprang up in Lung Wo Road yesterday, which shows the increasing tension between demonstrators and frontline police officers. Although OCLP finds the abuse of power by individual police officers to be hateful, we urge every occupier not to forget our original intention, that is to fight for a democratic political system with love and peace. Our target should be the dictator who ignores public opinion. We should not misfire and give the government an excuse for repression.

We urge the occupiers to continue to safeguard the ‘Umbrella Square’. If someone chooses to further block the road or extend the occupation area, that will surely intensify the conflict among citizens, which is what Leung Chun-ying would love to see. It also gives the government a reason for clearance due to rising ‘public resentment’. More importantly, for civil disobedience to be successful, understanding and support from the public have to be sought.

We strongly condemn the police officers for abusing their power. However, we also call for protesters to show understanding and sympathy if the police are carrying out their duties lawfully.  They have simply been pushed into the position of our opponents by an unjust system and the hardliners in the government.  We hope all protesters not to forget what it was we set out to do – to resist a dictatorial government with love and peace.

Hong Kong Police Crackdown Escalates

Hong Kong Police Use Pepper Spray to Clear Protesters Near Government Headquarters, Arrest 45 Overnight

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lockade in Causeway Bay doing a world of good despite criticism, some Hongkongers say

Occupy Central protesters have held up traffic on major roads in Causeway Bay for more than two weeks – but to some commuters and pedestrians, the blockade is actually a welcome addition.

Over the past few days, residents and workers passing through the occupied parts of the district have enjoyed the fact they have more space to walk in, the air is cleaner and there are more activities that engage the public. Continue reading

Hong Kong police remove barricades and gather at protest site

Police say pro-democracy demonstrators can remain on streets but officers mass in Admiralty district

Hong Kong police have removed some barricades erected by pro-democracy protesters, but said protesters could remain on the streets they have occupied for the past two weeks.

At the main protest site, near government offices in the downtown district of Admiralty, scores of student protesters faced off with police who were massing in the area, a witness said. Continue reading

Hong Kong Enters a Standoff Over Barricades as Protests Ebb

HONG KONG — The pro-democracy demonstrations that paralyzed blocks of downtown Hong Kong for nearly two weeks have dissipated to a few hardy thousand, but for reasons many residents cannot comprehend, the streets are still impassable.

The battle for territory between the student-led pro-democracy demonstrators and the Beijing-backed city government has come down to a strange standoff over the metal barricades themselves, set up on the streets and then virtually abandoned by protesters. Continue reading