Authorities begin clearing protest site in Hong Kong

Authorities begin clearing protest site in Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities began clearing away some barricades from part of a pro-democracy protest site in Mong Kok district, scene of previous violent confrontations with police and angry mobs.

Police were on hand to assist bailiffs working under a court order to remove obstructions from the site, which activists have occupied for nearly two months.

It said police are authorised to arrest anyone obstructing the bailiffs.

Workers in white hard hats and gloves moved wooden pallets and other junk into the middle of an intersection to be taken away in a truck that pulled up.

Dozens of police and bailiffs watched the operation, and there was no immediate resistance from protesters.

Protesters have been camped out on major thoroughfares in three areas of Hong Kong since September 28 demanding greater democracy.

The stand-off has continued with no end in sight as neither the government nor the student-led protesters have shown any willingness to compromise.

A crowd of people supporting the police clearance operation applauded from the sidelines.

Businessman Andrew Tang said he travelled across Victoria Harbour to watch the barricade removal.

He said the protesters were not realistic in their demands to China’s communist rulers in Beijing and miscalculated by not withdrawing earlier.

“The Communist Party will never surrender,” he said as he gave a thumbs up to the police.

Authorities last week started enforcing court orders against protest sites. They removed some barricades from the edge of the main protest area, next to the city government headquarters, while protesters offered little resistance.

The barricade clearances come at a critical phase for the protest movement, as student leaders run out of options, and public support and the number of demonstrators dwindle.

More than 80% of 513 people surveyed last week by Hong Kong University researchers said the protesters should go home.

The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. A separate survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong released days earlier found about two-thirds of 1,030 respondents felt the same way.

The operation today is being carried out after Hong Kong’s High Court granted a restraining order to a minibus company requiring protesters to leave one of the occupied Mong Kok streets.

A separate court order granted to taxi drivers to clear another Mong Kok street is expected to be enforced tomorrow.

More in this Section

Johnson sends unsigned photocopy of Parliament’s request for Brexit extension to EUJohnson sends unsigned photocopy of Parliament’s request for Brexit extension to EU

Soldiers on streets of Chilean capital after subway fare protests turn violentSoldiers on streets of Chilean capital after subway fare protests turn violent

Turkey bids to resettle two million Syrian refugees in border ‘safe zone’Turkey bids to resettle two million Syrian refugees in border ‘safe zone’

Scottish politicians react to Prime Minister’s Brexit defeatScottish politicians react to Prime Minister’s Brexit defeat


Lifestyle

These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner