Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong’s government headquarters overnight on Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks-long political crisis.
The demonstrators blocked the underpass with tyres, metal and plastic safety barriers and concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches. Read the rest of this entry »
HONG KONG – A mob of masked men opposed to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators led an apparently coordinated assault on the protest zone in the heart of the city’s financial district Monday, tearing down barricades and clashing with police.
The chaotic scenes came after police carried out a dawn operation to reopen some key roads blocked by protesters for more than 15 days. Police said they will continue to chip away at the occupied zone to relieve traffic, and warned that anyone who challenges them could be arrested.
“Before the police came, young men wearing masks and dark clothing came to pick fights with people and we heard that some of them had weapons.”
Monday’s confrontations highlighted the growing tension between student-led protesters and authorities — as well as other residents aggravated by the disruptions. The protesters, who had enjoyed widespread support when the movement began, are fighting to keep up momentum as the political crisis entered a third week.
“I don’t know who the young men wearing masks were. We suspect they’re triad members, but it’s hard to say. What other kind of group would organize themselves to come attack us?”
— Kevin Ng, college student
Demonstrators have flooded several thoroughfares in central Hong Kong since Sept. 28 in a civil disobedience movement to oppose restrictions on the first-ever direct election for the semiautonomous Chinese city’s leader, promised by Beijing for 2017.
Authorities have repeatedly urged protesters to retreat from the streets, but student leaders have vowed to keep up the disruptions until the government responds to their demands. Read the rest of this entry »