BEIJING – Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers closed in on the city’s main protest site Thursday afternoon to clear streets of pro-democracy demonstrators and terminate the mass civil disobedience movement that has occupied major roads in the south China city for over ten weeks.
Earlier Thursday, bailiffs backed by police to enforce a court injunction met no resistance as they removed protestors’ barricades in one part of the protest area. The injunction was brought by a bus company that has complained of disruption to its business operations.
After telling protestors to leave or face arrest, police moved against the main Admiralty site, removing barriers and setting up a cordon around the area, a key financial district close to government headquarters. Police had vowed to clear the entire area and another protest site in Causeway Bay. Several roads have been closed to traffic for two and a half months, with cars replaced by thousands of protesters, hundreds of tents and dozens of barricades.
Even as the roads in the financial district are cleared, things are looking bumpy for Hong Kong investors as the Hang Seng index dropped nearly 1% Thursday.
The message “we’ll be back”, was widespread Thursday, written on banners hung from bridges, on wall posters, and even drawn in chalk on roads, indicating that protesters are determined to keep up their fight for free elections however the day concludes. One chalk sign read “you are only clearing a camp… you can’t clear the idea!!!”
Some volunteers handed out helmets, goggles, masks and first-aid supplies, to protect against tear gas, which suggested that some protesters may resist police efforts, reported the South China Morning Post newspaper… see more