OccupyCentral Protesters End Government Building Blockade After Hong Kong Police Unleash Tear Gas, Pepper Spray "To Avoid Injuries"

UPDATE: According to the latest feed from OccupyCentral, protesters are refusing to leave the Lung Wo Road government building blockade...

After a night of 'some' discussions and a re-escalation of violence - which saw police use tear gas and pepper spray (in their words avoiding the use of batons and "reducing injuries"), OccupyCentral protesters have decided to leave the area outside the Hong Kong office of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Mong Kok. Protesters are reportedly moving back towards the Admiralty site where thousands remain ahead of tomorrow's deadline ultimatum from the HK leader. Officials are in full court press PR mode, explaining on every TV channel and media outlet just how significant the disruptions will be on Monday to the general public (notably the older generation as 95% of OccupyCentral protesters are between 15 and 25). Protest leaders have agreed to continue dialog with the government if protest sites are protected and while tomorrow's deadline may see more escalation (in the name of public order), as The Telegraph notes, given the age of the protesters, Hong Kong could face decades of protests.

 

 

Occupy Central's official Twitter feed appears to show the protesters agreeing to leave the government building blockade

  • *OCCUPY CENTRAL SUPPORTERS DECIDE TO LEAVE GOVT OFFICE BUILDING
    *OCCUPY CENTRAL SUPPORTERS TO LEAVE MONG KOK FOR ADMIRALTY SITE

This follows a night of violence...

There were ~6 cases of scuffling in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok area, Senior Superintendent Kwok Pak-chung says to reporters.

  • Police to use appropriate force if protesters charge cordon: Kwok
  • Police has zero tolerance of violence: Kwok
  • *HONG KONG POLICE APPEAL TO CROWD TO DISPERSE IN MONG KOK
  • *H.K. POLICE SAY WON'T TOLERATE ACTS ENDANGERING PUBLIC ORDER

And then...

  • *HK POLICE USED PEPPER SPRAY IN MONG KOK CROWD CONTROL: CABLE TV


Police spray an elderly Chinese resident in the face at point blank range..

  • *H.K. POLICE COMMANDER ORDERED TEAR GAS TO PREVENT INJURIES: SMP


Police used tear gas on demonstrators to prevent possible stampede that might’ve caused injuries or deaths, the Sunday Morning Post reports, citing the senior superintendent who gave the order.

  • Name of officer withheld at request of police
  • Officer said order given without political motive, HK Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying not notified
  • Order given as about 200 protestors sought to break through police cordon
  • Tear gas used as alternative to baton attack, which may have led to many injuries
  • Officer has no regrets, would make same decision again under same circumstances

Officials are concentrating their effort on swaying thehearts and minds of the non-youth in Hong Kong by explainingjust how bad disruptions will be of tomorrow's deadline passes...

  • *H.K. PROTESTS DELAYING EMERGENCY SERVICES, OFFICIALS SAY
  • *H.K. FIRE TRUCKS 30 SECONDS-3 MINUTES SLOWER: FIRE OFFICIAL
  • *HK ROAD BLOCKAGE COULD CAUSE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES: OFFICIAL
  • *H.K., KOWLOON TRAFFIC EXPECTED TO BE SEVERE TOMORROW: GOVT.
  • *28 BUS ROUTES SUSPENDED, 200 REDIRECTED IF BLOCKAGES REMAIN: SU

But, as The Telegraph notes, Hong Kong could face decades of protests...

Hong Kong faces decades of unrest unless China allows real democratic reforms, one of its leading politicians warned, as mass protests continued to lock down the city.

 

"Almost 95 per cent of the crowd that has gathered every night for seven nights is between 15 to 25 years old," said Alan Leong, 56, the leader of the pro-democratic Civic party.

 

"These people will be around for a long time. They will be masters of Hong Kong for the next 40 to 50 years.

 

"I challenge Xi Jinping (the Chinese president) to answer this question: even if you bring your weight to bear and somehow get your proposal passed, how are you going to govern Hong Kong when this is your public for the next five decades?"

For now the protests rank high on pro-democracy demands but on the low-side of participation (acording to The Economist)

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But it's the weekend so we end on an upbeat note...