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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