Protesters reoccupy road after clashes in Admiralty
Activists block Lung Wo Road after police earlier cleared barricades to allow traffic through
Protesters took control of a road near the government headquarters in Admiralty last night after police had earlier cleared barricades that had blocked traffic for more than two weeks.
Trouble erupted when activists rushed into the westbound side of Lung Wo Road outside the Chief Executive's Office at about 9pm. One of them climbed onto a road barrier and was then pulled back by policemen, triggering the confrontations.
Riot police responded with pepper spray and batons, but protesters later cleared a lane so officers could retreat and the site had returned to calm early this morning.
Watch: Protesters reoccupy Lung Wo Road in Admiralty after clash with police
A Polytechnic University student said the reoccupation of Lung Wo Road was a "small victory" for the movement after officers had removed barriers set up on Queensway in the morning.
"We expressed our sincerity by leaving Lung Wo Road [last week]. We are forced to take it back … We need more bargaining chips [for future talks]," the student said.
Lau I-lung, a spokesman for Scholarism, the student activist group, said neither his group nor the Federation of Students initiated the action.
Traffic had resumed in Queensway in Admiralty at noon after hundreds of police officers tore down bamboo scaffolding in the main road linking Wan Chai, Admiralty and Central.
The move followed a swiftly executed dawn operation to remove barricades in Causeway Bay yesterday morning. Police are expected to remove barriers in Mong Kok today.
A commentary to be published in People's Daily today said protesters had been attempting to force Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to resign, but "they are doomed to fail".
It said "only by resolutely supporting the Hong Kong government can Hong Kong retain its status as an international financial and trade centre. Stability is bliss, and turmoil brings havoc".
Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, met pro-establishment lawmakers last night. A lawmaker who joined the dinner said Occupy Central had the elements of a "colour revolution", such as interference by "external forces" and calls for Leung to resign.
Zhang called on pro-establishment legislators to support the Hong Kong government. In remarks he made to members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong in Shenzhen on Sunday, he said the central government expected the protests to drag on "for some time" and had "prepared for the worst".
Chen, chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said that people were manipulating the movement in an effort to topple the Hong Kong government.
A commentary in a news portal affiliated with China News Service said US diplomats and intelligence officials in Hong Kong had helped plan the protests.
Reuters reported that Beijing would give no ground to the protests but did not want a bloody crackdown.