Clashes Continue in Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests


In the continuation of clashes between the authorities and the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, streets in the Mong Kok district have been taken back from the police.  The protestors confirmed they have retaken the area that they had been expelled from just hours earlier.

Around 9000 protestors were involved in pushing back riot police to take territory to the south of a major intersection in the district.  They had been occupying the area for a number of weeks, involved in protests against the curbs by China on who can run in Hong Kong’s next leadership election.

Friday evening saw 26 arrests for assault and a number of other offence.  Fifteen police were injured in the clashes while a number of protestors were seen to be knocked to the ground, a report by AP news agency stated.


Protest group Occupy Central stated that the clearance operation by the government had triggered a ‘new wave’ of occupations and saw a worsening relationship between the police and the citizens.  The Mong Kok camp is an offshoot of the original protest site around the government offices in Admiralty on Hong Kong Island.

Protestors and police are still gathered around this location though there are no reported clashes at this time between them.

Earlier in the day, Alex Chow from the Federation of Students said that his group and the government were meeting next Tuesday to conduct talks that would be broadcast live in radio.  Hong Kong leader CY Leung had already said that the government was ready for talks but China refused to retract its decision to vet candidates for the 2017 leadership elections.

Previous talks had been scheduled but were cancelled by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, saying that it was impossible to have constructive dialogue when the city streets were being occupied.  Numbers of protestors had dropped since the beginning of the month when tens of thousands took to the streets.  But tensions escalated once more with violent clashes as police cleared an underpass on Lung Wo Road, near the offices of the chief executive.

Video showing plainclothes police officers beating an unarmed protestor also sparked outrage.  The police said that seven officers had been suspending pending an investigation into the incident.


In China, where the story should be top of the news headlines, there was little mention of the unrest.  This week saw the state finish a week-long celebration to mark National Day, the anniversary of the 1949 Revolution where the Communist Party took power.  Since then, they have tightly controlled the media and what is reported to the people.

The state propaganda machine first treated the Hong Kong issue with silence and nothing was said while the Communist Party decided on its response.  Then the decision was made to relegate it to a non-story and the focus on the celebrations kicked into high gear.

In a piece in the main state newspaper, the principles of democracy Chinese-style were outlined and the insinuation was added that the Occupy movement was a tool of hostile foreign interests, as opposed to people trying to preserve their democratic rights.  At no point in the last week has any Chinese media mentioned that the protestors are peaceful.


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