Riot police used pepper spray in clashes with hundreds of mainland protesters outside the Cen tral Government Offices yesterday in the most violent scenes of the 11-month right of abode controversy. Six officers, two mainlanders and a reporter were injured in skirmishes throughout the day as mainlanders fought police with rocks, bamboo sticks and flower pots and tried to storm the premises. Police said they had to respond because a minority of protesters were encouraging violence. A protest leader also condemned the violence. 'I don't condone violence. That just gives the police an excuse to beat us up, but people are angry and I can't control them,' group spokesman Chau Kwok-fai, 61, said. The day began quietly after more than 100 mainlanders remained overnight in a candlelight vigil to await the court ruling. The crowd quickly increased to close on 1,000. As the implications of the court ruling sank in, protesters became increasingly restless as police condoned off access to the building and car park. Mr Chau organised speeches and mainlanders aired their grievances against the SAR Government and the court. But a more moderate faction led by Mr Chau began to lose control of the group by noon. A man with a loudhailer denounced the police and several others tried to storm the main gate shortly after noon. About 200 elite tactical unit officers moved in and confronted a small number of more radical protesters. Police showered pepper spray on them but allowed most women and older mainlanders out on to the street and car park. Some 50 Police Tactical Unit (PTU) officers then formed a human wall outside the entrance to the main wing which houses the Chief Executive's office. Calm was restored but several protesters began to break flower pots and hurl debris at police. PTU officers then moved in, forming a long human chain to push out remaining protesters. By 5.30pm, police allowed a handful of migrants back into the square to stage a quiet sit-in. Eight of them were chosen to negotiate with Security Bureau and other officials. The group vowed to remain until they were forced out or repatriated.