Review | OCCUPY CENTRAL - NIGHT SIX: Full coverage of the night's events
There were clashes as anti-Occupy groups took to the streets to confront demonstrators in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, where police arrested a number of people and several protesters were injured.
Welcome to our continuing 24-hour Occupy Central coverage.
There were clashes in several parts of the city today as anti-Occupy groups took to the streets to confront demonstrators in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, where police arrested a number of people and several protesters were injured.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students called off talks with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam after police and the government turned a blind eye to attacks on protesters by suspected triad and pro-Beijing groups.
7.50am Admiralty: More than 150 policemen - including about 80 from the tactical unit - arrive in two coaches and several police vehicles, and walk into the operation zone around the Chief Executive's office.
Some of them are carrying large bags, the contents of which are unclear.
It is believed that they are either reinforcements or taking over from their colleagues from the overnight shift.
The atmosphere is relatively relaxed and the policemen were not booed, unlike their colleagues' encounter with protesters and "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung eight hours ago.
7.30am Mong Kok: A newly posted summary of headlines of today's dailies and top TV news stories quickly draws attention in Mong Kok. It is entitled "The good things done by reporters".
Ten steps away at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street, 100 pedestrians and sit-in participants join a public forum, from which could be heard regular rounds of applause.
7.00am Admiralty: Volunteers at the perimeter of the occupation zone outside the Chief Executive's office are told to be on alert after two marshals suspect that a pair of middle-aged men are anti-Occupy activists.
"He was wearing a yellow ribbon, but when we stared at him, he took it off suddenly and threw it onto the ground," a marshal described.
Meanwhile, there is an oversupply of sodium chloride irrigation solution, used for cleaning wounds, at the first aid station.
7.00am Admiralty: A group of volunteers that helped police deliver three rounds food and water to the Government headquarters last night woke the crowd up and explained what had happened.
"May I apologise – I don't represent anyone here," said Gary Yeung Gee-wang, a first-aid volunteer who helped deliver the refreshments. "But we did this on humanitarian grounds."
The group delivered three rounds of food and drinks accompanied by a chief inspector from 4am to 6am.
"There was no conflict between police and citizens. Our demand was that only one officer should come with us and that he carry no weapons. And the packing has to be transparent so nothing else is brought in. This was agreed," another volunteer said.
They bowed to the applause of protesters on Harcourt Road.
6.35am Admiralty: Things may be calm for now, but protesters are still wary. A sign on Lung Wo Road, near a sit-in outside the Chief Executive's office, advises demonstrators what to do if they are arrested: send a text with personal particulars such as Chinese and English full name, age, sex, identity card number and phone number to the Occupy Central legal support hotline.
6.35am Causeway Bay: It's another new day for protesters at the Causeway Bay site with volunteers distributing breakfast and others making trips to the toilet at a nearby 24-hour McDonalds.
Protesters have strengthened their defensive perimeter at the ends of Yee Wo Street overnight and have set up lookout stations - not for police, but for troublemakers and thugs. Lightly armed groups of police officers make routine patrols through the streets. Occasionally a man or woman passes through shouting obscenities at the protesters.
6.30am Admiralty: A pair of police inspectors casually walk through the occupation zone outside the Chief Executive's office in Admiralty, examining the protesters' roadblocks and temporary shelter.
"They look suspicious, definitely plotting something," a volunteer marshal is overheard saying.
Minutes later, a young man ran across the protest site. "Hey, expel the cops, two cops have intruded," he shouted.
6.20am Mong Kok: Despite ugly scenes last night when anti-Occupy groups attacked the main protest site in Mong Kok, leading to 19 arrests, protesters have largely rebuilt the barricades and tents which were destroyed. As the sun rises over Hong Kong, around 200 remain at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street.
Those occupying Mong Kok are tired and weary, after a tense night in which just a strange noise could arouse a huge reaction, as many feared that anti-Occupy groups or police would return and again attempt to clear the site.
There was a brief panic in Mong Kok when rumours of barriers being removed in Sai Yeung Choi South Street led dozens of protesters to sprint there to reinforce it. Aside from the ongoing confusion there, the city appears relatively quiet.
In Admiralty, a 70-metre stretch of Lung Wo Road's westbound lanes, which had been partially blocked by protesters, are completely empty, but it is unlikely that they could be re-opened any time soon.
Sunrise in 30 minutes.
5.20am Admiralty: Around 80 protesters remain outside the Chief Executive's office in Admiralty, faced by about 40 police officers standing guard.
It is unclear whether police would try to transport food and drinks into the complex from nearby Lung Wo Road, as Occupy marshals stay alert to the slightest possible sign of police action.
"A fire engine just passed by, is anything happening on your side," a young man asked anxiously on his walkie-talkie.
Supplies were delivered to the offices earlier via a footbridge over Harcourt Road. Protesters did the delivery themselves after a long debate with police, not trusting them to only bring in food and water.
Mong Kok: Hundreds of protesters suddenly flocked towards Sai Yeung Choi South Street despite appeals from Occupy wardens to stay and defend the main protest site. Reasons unclear.
4.45am Admiralty: Protesters have refused to allow police to bring packs of drinks into the government headquarters. They worry the food is just an excuse for police to bring in something else.
After half an hour of debate among protesters – some insisting a vote be held to decide upon a solution – and then discussion with police negotiators, several protesters and one police officer pushed carts of drinks to the exit for cops to collect at a barrier.
4.30am Police are holding a press conference to give their account of the events in Mong Kok tonight.
Police arrested 19 men in clashes in Mong Kok on three charges, eight of whom are believed to have triad backgrounds. They are facing different charges of unlawful assembly, fighting in a public place, and assault, said district commander Kwok Pak-chung.
At least 12 people and six police officers were reported to have been wounded. Kwok did not rule out more arrests.
Kwok stressed that the police had been fair and never enforce the law selectively. Replying to a question as to why pepper spray and higher force had not been used to prevent violence against pro-democracy protestors, he said: "There is an established procedure on the level of force being used."
He said that police reinforcement dispatched to Mong Kok was delayed due to the roads being blocked.
"One team of the police officers took one hour to travel from Hong Kong Island to Admiralty and to Mong Kok, as they can only take the MTR when many roads are blocked by barricades. Usually it would not need an hour."
It takes 10 minutes for an MTR train to travel between Admiralty and Mong Kok stations, according to the official website.
He also urged protesters in Mong Kok to retreat after the violence as it is likely to be dangerous. But he said the police would increase patrols in the area to ensure public safety and order.
4.25am Admiralty: With the Observatory extending its thunderstorm warning until at least 6.30am, more than 600 protesters remain in Admiralty. Most are resting or sleeping on the ground in a covered area outside the Legislative Council complex.
4.25am Mong Kok: On Tong Mi Road, truck driver Kent Cheung has become something of a sudden hero after he managed to force a police van to detour.
He complained of a lip injury after police pulled him out of his truck, sparking a confrontation with protesters, who demanded he be released.
Though police let Cheung go, an officer is believed to have thrown his car keys away, which are still missing.
The main Mong Kok protest site on Argyle Street and Nathan Road is considerably calmer. Demonstrators are slowly rebuilding barricades and tents that were destroyed by anti-Occupy groups who attacked the site on Friday evening.
4.00am Mong Kok: The chaos on Reclamation Street spread to Tong Mi Road as the police forced their way out of a crowd of protesters who had surrounded them.
After a police van left the scene, another confrontation erupted on Tong Mi, where a number of officers were surrounded by demonstrators demanding they release a truck driver detained after he chased a departing police van and managed to stop it.
Protesters on Argyle Street are setting up a roadblock again after police were said to have attacked people with batons just two blocks away.
3.45am Mong Kok: Around 200 protesters blocked a police vehicle carrying an officer accused of pushing a protester to the ground near the junction of Argyle Street and Reclamation Street. Earlier on at the site, a protester was taken to a hospital after being hit in the head by a police baton.
Mong Kok: That didn't last long. 12 police vehicles have arrived in Reclamation Street, near the main Occupy site at the Argyle Street and Nathan Road junction, where they have been confronted by an angry crowd.
Protesters say police have batons drawn and at least one person was hit by officers. An SCMP reporter at the scene described it as "chaotic".
3.15am Admiralty: Ongoing protests have given minibus drivers a chance to turn a profit, as it cost as much as HK$30 per-person for a 16-seater minibus ride from Tamar to Mong Kok, across the harbour in Kowloon.
"It doesn't seem reasonable to me," said Ki Liu, who hesitated with a friend for a long while before leaving the minibus stand for other means of transport.
3.15am Mong Kok: After raising warning flags and threatening to use force to clear the area, police have completely disappeared from the major Occupy Zone in Mong Kok.
Police say they will hold a press briefing at 4.15am to discuss the situation there.
3.10am Admiralty: Occupy Central co-founder Chan Kin-man says he understands the Hong Kong Federation of Students' decision to call off talk with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam. He said the violence which erupted in Mong Kok had been organised and planned, and he suspects the government may have been behind it to create an opportunity to remove protesters.
"In this case, the dialogue will not be sincere," he said. "Whether this is the act done by the entire government, or just some people in the government."
Chan also urged people supporting the Occupy movement to understand the decision for them to appeal for people to evacuate from Mong Kok. He called on all protesters to remain peaceful in the face of confrontation.
3.00am: As police appear to be backing off in Mong Kok, where protesters have reclaimed parts of road lost after anti-Occupy groups attacked the site, attacks by the hacking group Anonymous continue.
Government websites last night were under malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks of which news.gov.hk was the most affected, according to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
2.45am Mong Kok: Occupy protesters have reclaimed a section of Argyle Street leading to the main occupied junction with Nathan Road near Langham Place, amid rumours that riot police are on their way to clear the site.
Squads of anti-triad officers have gathered at nearby Fa Yuen Street, where an officer carrying a shield is directing police vehicles.
Pepper spray was used at least once by police to disperse a pro-democracy crowd surrounding a man allegedly responsible for violent action against the protesters earlier.
The crowd had chased the man down near Langham Place, where he was seen being escorted by the police to a taxi.
The scene was chaotic as the crowd attempted to prevent the man from departing. At least one man has be be attended by first-aiders after being pepper-sprayed.
Accusing police of being in cahoots with anti-Occupy forces, protests have taken it upon themselves to chase down people who have attacked the students in Mong Kok and ensure that police take action against them.
2.30am Mong Kok: Police have told protesters in Mong Kok to "reduce your protest zone for safety", as officers in helmets and carrying shields form a line in apparent preparation to attack protesters for the first time since Sunday night, when tear gas was used dozens of times.
Earlier, Occupy protesters hurled curses and jeers as two anti-Occupy men were taken away in a police van on Argyle Street.
Protesters chanted "protect the students" and "retreat" after a police officer urged them to leave through a loudspeaker.
2.30am Admiralty: Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan is distributing leaflets telling people the legal basics in case of arrests.
He says he has not heard of a police clearance but wants to get protesters informed of their risks.
He calls on people to stay on as the situation in Admiralty has quietened down.
"If you are tired, call your friends to come as we don't want to see the crowds thinning at dawn," Lee said.
Meanwhile, lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung has been discussing with several protesters his views on the right occupation and protest strategies, such as the significance of Scholarism's silent protest at the National Day flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday.
2.25am Admiralty: Around 350 protesters remain outside the Chief Executive's office but almost all are staying away from the two westbound lanes of Lung Wo Road - which they spent hours a day ago debating over whether to occupy or not.
2.15am Causeway Bay: An emotional man in his 40s who appeared to be either drunk or under the influence, stumbled into the protest grounds swearing and shouting at the protesters. He was looking to challenge Scholarism's Joshua Wong Chi-Fung to a fight.
Slurring, breaking into tears down and falling on to the ground, the man said the movement had rendered him "unable to make a living" and that it had "taken away" his son from him.
"What are you guys trying to do? You can't change anything! Look what you've done to my son!" he shouted. "Who's the leader? Is it Wong Chi-fung! Come out here now, I'm not scared of any of you!"
He had to be carried away by at least eight police officers. They put him in a taxi and left. Some protesters felt he was being paid to stage a show.
2.00am Mong Kok: Around 100 pro-democracy supporters surrounded a middle-age man on Argyle Street, who allegedly had been violent towards protesters earlier.
The crowd chanted that the man should be arrested, many said they would be witnesses, but three police officers who have been guarding the site did not taken any action.
After the Post asked an officer why the force refused to intervene to protect demonstrators, and with a determined crowd insisting justice should be done, police officers finally agreed to take the man to the police station.
Jeffrey Fai, the victim, said he was discussing the police's handling of tonight's events with the man when he suddenly pushed him. The crowd went wild and urged the police to intervene.
Hong Kong’s police failed in their duty to protect hundreds of peaceful pro-democracy protesters from attacks by counter demonstrators on Friday evening, Amnesty International said.
Women and girls were among those targeted, including incidents of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation, as counter-demonstrators clashed with pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok and Causeway Bay areas of Hong Kong on Friday evening.
"The police inaction tonight is shameful. The authorities have failed in their duty to protect peaceful protesters who came under attack," said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
"There has been a heavy police presence during the past week, but their failure tonight risks fuelling an increasingly volatile situation."
1.35am Admiralty: Two large tents are crowded with protesters sheltering from the rain outside the Chief Executive's Office in Admiralty.
Hong Kong Observatory issued a thunderstorm warning, which will remain in force until 2.30am.
A protester named Jack, in his thirties, said the crowd here is far smaller than a day ago, when thousands gathered in a face off with police.
But he believes the smaller crowd has little to do with the weather.
"We are here braving the rain," he said. "I just think that people might have gone because they are helping in Mong Kok, or they need to work on Saturday morning."
1.35am Mong Kok: Tensions are still running high in Mong Kok, which was the site of attacks by anti-Occupy groups on demonstrators earlier tonight.
Police refused to intervene after an anti-Occupy protester shoved a demonstrator.
"Come on police! What are you doing standing there!" many chanted.
After a commotion which lasted around 15 minutes, and repeated requests for help, no officers intervened. Protesters criticised the force, saying that they only serve triads, not the people.
1.30am Protesters across the city should be prepared for another wet night as a patch of thundery showers affects the southern part of Hong Kong.
More than 50 millimetres of rain has hit parts of the territory as of midnight, the Observatory said. However, the rain, which has failed to dampen protesters' spirits for days, is expected to ease off gradually later in the night and following days are expected to become fine and dry.
1.15am Admiralty: Scores of plain-clothes officers wearing police vests emerged on a footbridge leading to the Admiralty government headquarters. The crowd booed their presence and rushed onto the footbridge.
As the police climbed over the metal fences to get into the building, protesters tried to stop them and a scuffle ensued. Some chanted, "Triad society!" blaming the cops for indulging alleged triads who attacked protesters in Mong Kok on Friday evening.
The cops cheered themselves after reaching government headquarters.
An RTHK reporter said he was hit in the waist by police baton even though he had waved his press badge to an officer.
1.10am Causeway Bay: Heavy rain, lightning and thunder strikes Causeway Bay sending protesters scrambling to find shelter under tents and buildings.
Volunteers are advising protesters to be on "full alert" to deal with potential trouble.
Male protesters have been urged to take care of their female counterparts after reports of sexual assaults by anti-Occupy groups earlier in the night.
1.05am Mong Kok: There was an intense commotion in Mong Kok after several police officers pushed an Occupy protester to the ground. A witness said the protester had a minor clash with the police in a crowded area, after which several officers were quick to push the protester to the ground and take him away.
The police action drew huge criticism from Occupy protesters. They demanded to know why police did not arrest those who attacked Occupy protesters, but were quick to remove a man who had a very minor clash with officers.
"Release him! Release him," hundreds of supporters chanted.
Others accused the police of being corrupt, chanting "black cops" and "police are working with triads!"
The Hong Kong Journalists Assocation has condemned alleged attacks on reporters.
"Several attacks on journalists covering the Mongkok clash have been reported. In one case, a man has hit the arm of a female reporter with a hard object. She has already filed a report to the police after hospital examination. No one has been arrested so far," the organisation said in a statement published earlier tonight.
"The Hong Kong Journalists Association appeals for your greatest caution and mutual support in covering this and other similar events. When circumstances allow, film any attack and report the case to the police."
12.55am Admiralty: Around 500 people remain outside the Chief Executive's Office in Admiralty.
E.F. Fung, a 24-year-old human resources clerk, said he joined the protests because of attacks in Mong Kok.
"I think protesters might need help here because I'm worried that something similar might happen," Fung said. "Actually the students federation and the government softened on their stance, originally, but people were attacked in Mong Kok because of the police's inaction, I think this would stimulate more people to come out."
He said he was planning to stay overnight for the first time since the protest started a week ago.
12.50am Mong Kok: Wesley Ng, 21, said he witnessed police release a man who allegedly attacked protesters.
He said an anti-Occupy protester was escorted away by police at around 11pm after the man attacked Occupy protesters. Ng, and several other people, followed the attacker to a nearby police station.
"But the man was released after 15 minutes inside the police station. There was a commotion [asking] why the man was let go so fast. Then another officer came. We told him that the police need to open a case on the attack," he said.
Police escorted the alleged attacker and several witnesses into the police station and opened a file.
Ng said that if he and others did not wait outside the police station, the alleged attacker would have been let go easily.
Around 1,000 student demonstrators remain in Mong Kok, while anti-Occupy protesters have largely gone home after a long night of scuffles and attacks.
12.45am Causeway Bay: Volunteers have moved barricades around to bolster their defences in the event of more organised attacks or confrontation.
Several masked men dressed in black stormed part of the camp on Friday afternoon in an attempt to remove barricades and provoke protesters.
"As you know, these moves were organised and coordinated," said volunteer Kevin Ko, who has been coordinating.
"We are worried they may come back again that's why we're adding more barricades."
Ko personally admitted that the lack of leadership made it hard to coordinate logistics and supply movements. But most protesters were cooperative.
He doesn't think people have been put off by Friday's events.
"I was looking on Facebook. Many people were neutral about the movement, now support it after Mong Kok," he said.
"Many know this will be a prolonged war and that the government won't give us what we want that fast."
12.40am Admiralty: Police officers were booed as they went off duty outside Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's office in Admiralty.
Criticising the police for failing to protect Mong Kok protesters from a suspected triad attack, lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung led the crowd in chanting "Protesters here are peaceful, it's Mong Kok that needs you! Suppress Mong Kok triads, protect residents' assembly!"
A senior police officer called through a loudhailer for protesters not to embarrass the policemen.
"They've been standing here for a long time, just like you. We are not taking any action. We respect your freedom of assembly and speech."
12.05am Tensions which built up this afternoon have eased in Causeway Bay but hundreds of protesters still remain. Most are standing as the roads remain wet from rain. Some volunteers sweep puddles of water into the drains while others hand out plastic for people to lay out and sit on.
12.00am Over 40 scholars have signed a petition to condemn violence against peaceful protesters in Mong Kok. The statement reads:
"On the incident of assault on peaceful demonstrators and citizens in Mong Kok, we strongly condemn the violence of the perpetrators, and strongly demand the police, as public servants, instead of watching violence inflicted on peaceful protestors, to do its utmost to arrest the perpetrators, and defend the freedom of assembly of citizens as well as the personal safety of peaceful demonstrators.
"Furthermore, we urge the HKSAR government to respond with immediate action to the democratic demands of the citizens in order to resolve the current social crisis."
11.45pm Admiralty: Arguments break out repeatedly outside Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's office as protesters remain divided whether to occupy both lanes of Lung Wo Road. Lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung steps in twice, asking those who want to step up action to head to Mong Kok instead.
11.35pm Referring to attacks on peaceful demonstrators by anti-Occupy protesters today, Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit called the administration a "government of scums" and said he understood why student leaders decided to terminate talks with officials.
11.30pm Mong Kok: Students who remain on the occupied junction in Mong Kok vowed to stay tonight if police continue to "condone" an anti-Occupy crowd who were seen using violence and provoking conflicts throughout the day.
"Clear those who oppose us first, after that we will leave of our own accord," one student said through a microphone.
Police are closing in on the area, around 100 officers have already moved to the junction of Nathan and Argyle roads, barring anyone from entering on all sides.
An Occupy volunteer urged all supporters along Nathan Road to sit down and prepare for a "long fight".
"This will be a long fight if we want civil nomination; now you should all get some rest and get ready for tonight," said an Occupy volunteer on loudspeaker.
11.10pm Admiralty: Protesters in Admiralty jeered a suspected police delivery to the government headquarters via a footbridge, shouting "shame on you" to the large group of men.
Protesters are on high alert after the police moved riot gear into the building on Thursday night.
A group of around 100 men moved quickly up the steps to the footbridge carrying cardboard boxes, they then returned via the walkway and into the closest MTR exit to loud shouts.
11.10pm Mong Kok: Two people were arrested in Mong Kok for fighting, police said, as law enforcement sought to shift the blame for clashes onto Occupy Central-goers.
Police spokesman Kong Man-keung said police had repeatedly asked the crowd to leave over the past few days, but to no avail.
"This kind of action which occupies road...carries risks," he said, addressing the clashes which took place in Mong kok and Causeway Bay today.
"We asked them to leave peacefully and orderly, but they refused to do it," he added.
Asked why force was not used against violent counter-protesters, he said decisions were made by officers and inspectors on the ground.
He refuted allegations that police had failed to act, adding that "we swiftly deployed a lot of manpower to control the situation" when the incident happened.
He said rumours of police letting criminals of the hook were groundless and that police had been monitoring the situation closely over the past few days.
Admiralty: Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee stands with a group of marshals at the entrance to Harcourt road from Admiralty Centre.
He said the group was forming a "frontline" to protect protesters in Admiralty.
"It was very ugly in Mong Kok, clearly the anti-Occupy people deliberately caused a scene and created trouble, giving police an excuse," Lee said.
"Because of the presence of the international press, the police won't use tear gas again to throw the people away," he said, "so they use these triad society members to create a scene and threaten the people. We are peace-loving and we are getting injured.
"They hoped to deter us, but you see more and more people are coming," Lee said, gesturing to the steady flow of people coming out if the MTR station.
Lee said the violent scenes today in Mong Kok were "Communist tactics" to "use people against people to eliminate those they don't like".
Protesters continue to pack into admiralty from the station as crowds brave the intermittent rain under umbrellas to listen to speakers on the stage under a pedestrian bridge.
10.55pm: Hong Kong Federation of Students announces it will officially call off its meeting with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, accusing police and the government of turning a blind eye to attacks on protesters by suspected triad and pro-Beijing groups.
"It is government and police who break the dialogue and they should bear the consequences themselves," the statement read.
It was Leung Chun-ying's usual tactics to use both police and triads to threaten Hongkongers, the Federation said, adding Hongkongers should stay united and protect the remaining occupied area.
10.45pm: In a clip uploaded to the govenment's website tonight, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged all people to leave Mong Kok immediately after the scuffles broke out.
"People should stay calm and not to use violent means no matter what side they take on Occupy Central," he said. "I have noticed there are many young people, with some students in their uniforms. I called on them to leave immediately as I do not want to see any citizens get hurt."
Leung said he had demanded police make the greatest effort to resume public order and asked people to coordinate with police evacuation work.
He once again urged protesters to leave Mongkok so the livelihood of people would not be affected.