OCCUPY CENTRAL - DAY 18: Full coverage of the day's events
Good evening and welcome to our ongoing live coverage of Hong Kong's Occupy movement.
Police used pepper spray and arrested 45 people to forcibly clear Lung Wo Road in the early hours of Wednesday. The road in Admiralty had been reoccupied by protesters late on Tuesday.
TVB aired footage of what they say is a group of police officers beating a protester, later idenitified as Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, after the operation.
In Tseung Kwan O, anti-Occupy protesters defied a court order and once again blocked the entrances to the Apple Daily newspaper headquarters overnight.
11.30pm: This concludes our live blog for Wednesday. Join us again tomorrow morning for more updates on the Occupy protests.
11.15pm: Members of the Occupy Central movement post online details of more alleged attacks by police against protesters on Lung Wo Road. In one post, it was alleged that officers pulled a man by his clothes, even though his hands were already up in the air. "Police pulled him by his clothing and he fell to the ground. His head was stepped on [sic], he was punched and kicked. He had a cracked lip," the group says in a posting in English on its Facebook page.
In another posting, the group alleges a female protester, who was bending down to pick up her glasses, was grabbed by police and dragged some distrance, resulting in injuries to her legs and knees.
In a third incident, a man was trying to give his friend some water to wash his eyes after being pepper sprayed by police when he was approached by police. "Once police caught up with him, [officers] pepper sprayed him, he had his head stood on and he was beaten," the Occupy Facebook posting says.
11.00pm: Responding to Raymond Tam's remarks earlier in the day, Alex Chow, secretary-general of the Federation of Students, says they have not been approached by any so-called "middleman" from the government. Chow says the door to dialogue is always open, and would not be affected by the police's alleged assault on protesters in the early hours of the morning.
"If the government is sincere in having dialogue with us, they don't need to convey the message through any middleman," he says. "They could have spoken to us directly." He adds that he is confused by Tam's intention by making the remarks, as he could not see any sign of compromise from the government on its stance towards political reform.
10.40pm North Point: More from Ken Tsang: The Civic Party member stepped out of the North Point Police Station and addressed the media after 10pm. He refused to answer any questions and read from a prepared statement. Tsang then slowly pointed out his wounds to his head and lifted his shirt to show welts on his chest and round, red marks on his back.
"You should have seen the TV footage of a number of police officers brutally assaulting me," he said. "While I was... utterly defenceless. Prior to that I had already been assaulted, and was later yet again assaulted in the police station." After taking legal advice, Tsang said he would not to comment on the incident in any more detail, because of possible legal action against the police force and the officers involved.
10.20pm North Point: Ken Tsang, the protester allegedly beaten by police in the early hours of Wednesday morning, addresses the media and supporters outside North Point police station. Tsang says he plans to take legal action against the police officers involved in the incident and the Hong Kong police force itself. Tsang reads a prepared statement to the media outside North Point police station but takes no questions.
10.10pm Central: A flash mob of around 50 people, apparently made up of netizens, temporarily block a section of road outside Chater House in Central. As soon as they arrive on Pedder Street, the group run onto the road and grab traffic cones set up by the police, and place them across the road. The whole "operation" only takes around 30 seconds. They group flees the scene when a police vehicle arrives and the road reopens shortly afterwards.
10.00pm Admiralty: A police negotiation team in Admiralty urges hundreds of protesters to leave the area outside police headquarters on Arsenal Street. Protesters are dissatisfied by their remarks and call on Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung to step down.
9.50pm Admiralty: Over 2,000 rally goers are gathered in Admiralty - noticeably more than the two previous weekday nights - with some citing the alleged police beating of Civic Party member Ken Tsang as their motivation to join. "Police are supposed to protect us; how can we ever trust them again after this?" asks Renee Ng, a Polytechnic University marketing student. She says it will be hard to place trust in the police force again when it comes to anything that is remotely related to politics.
9.30pm: The chairman of the police watchdog says in a statement that the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) has asked its Serious Complaints Committee to follow up on the case of Ken Tsang, who was allegedly attacked by a group of policemen during a clearance operation in Admiralty.
Larry Kwok says the IPCC has been "closely following the developments of Occupy Central and its related activities", and is aware of a video clip showing "a police officer allegedly assaulting a protester".
The watchdog also held a special in-house meeting last Wednesday to discuss the particulars of the follow-up work, Kwok says.
The watchdog will monitor the progress of the police force's Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO), which notified the IPCC of the complaint, to ensure a speedy resolution. The IPCC will also ask the police to devote more manpower to creating a special team to handle cases of similar nature.
The IPCC appealed to anyone with information on the case to come forward with information. But Kwok says they will not comment on the case until an investigation is completed, in order to maintain impartiality.
Kwok concluded the statement by saying: "I hope that things will be back to normal soon, and that police officers, protesters and citizens will all stay safe."
9.15pm: Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying reportedly sought a further 3 million pounds (HK$37 million) from Australian firm UGL as part of his former company DTZ’s sale.
According to Fairfax Media, which obtained emails sent by top UGL and DTZ executives concerning the sale, Leung wanted an additional 3 million pounds to compensate him for stock he held in DTZ’s Japanese subsidiary.
Hong Kong's anti-graft agency has already opened a file on the case, amid questions over his conduct during his last days as a DTZ board member and the HK$50 millilon payments he received from UGL.
9pm: The Chinese Foreign Ministry has once again urged Britain to stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs, warning that London should speak and act cautiously to avoid sending any wrong signals.
Responding to British official Hugo Swire's statement on Monday about the Occupy Central protesters, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said today: "No country or individual has a right to interfere in China's internal affairs."
8.45pm: Lester Shum of the Hong Kong Federation of Students tells crowds in Admiralty that police officers who physically abuse people can be charged with using torture and can face a maximum sentence of life in jail, prompting a spirited round of applause from protesters.
The Harcourt Road crowds have swelled to around 2,000 people, according to a reporter's estimate.
Earlier, Scholarism activist Joshua Wong said he would no longer urge the public to have more sympathy for frontline police officers after today's events. "If it's just a job [to make a] living, why are you beating us up?" Wong said.
"And the most ironic thing is that police officers were hitting someone from the privileged class, someone who is one of the 1,200 members of the committee which elects the Chief Executive," he said, referring to the fact Ken Tsang is a member of the nominating committee, representing the welfare sector.
"Now even those from the privileged class have to take to the streets," Wong said.
8.30pm: After a nearly hour-long stand-off on Arsenal Street and Lockhart Road, police are allowing protesters – mostly social workers – to enter the police headquarters in groups to file reports on the alleged police beating of protester and Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.
Police also let a contingent move to Harcourt Road and continue their protest there.
Lawmaker Fernando Cheung says the demonstrators had no intention of staging a sit-in, but were forced to do so when police set up a cordon. Around 200 protesters are still outside the police headquarters, calmly waiting to enter.
8.20pm: About 10 pro-government lawmakers met a barrage of jeers and insults from protesters as the officials left the Legislative Council building in Admiralty at 8pm.
Roads surrounding the complex are blocked, so legislators Regina Ip, Tam Yiu-chung, Chan Kam-lam and Kwok Wai-keung, among others, had to walk to an outdoor carpark across the road. Protesters shouted at them: "Shame on you. You rubbish betrayed the Hongkongers."
An estimated 1,000 people have gathered on Harcourt Road in the past few hours, listening to the live broadcast of the Legco meeting. Earlier, the crowd applauded when Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki was heard commending the TVB journalists who spoke up against their management for editing out details from their report on Ken Tsang.
8.15pm: Following the transport union's decision, the Taxi Drivers and Operators Association call off plans to demolish remaining barricades tomorrow.
Eddie Ng Yip-pui, secretary for the group, said: "We will wait and see as there were some chaos last night."
On Monday, the association organised dozens of taxis to come to Queensway and threaten to break through blockades. Queensway was cleared of bamboo, metal and concrete fencing on Tuesday morning by police wielding sledgehammers and chainsaws.
— SCMP VideoMoJo (@SCMPVideoMoJo) October 15, 2014
7.45pm: The Democratic Party also says it will send a delegation to a UN Human Rights Committee meeting in Geneva next Thursday to discuss how Beijing's decision on Hong Kong election reform fails to comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The delegation will also attend the UN's hearing on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, where they will discuss alleged sexual violence against women protesters.
7.35pm: Three Democratic Party district councillors and one citizen have filed complaints to police over the clashes with protesters in Admiralty this morning, and urged police to launch a criminal investigation.
Like some 20 People Power members who filed reports to police earlier today, the four complainants were not present at the scene. But they presented footage to police showing the faces of officers said to be involved in the alleged attacks and submitted a phone message, allegedly circulated among the police force, urging everyone to remain silent on the issue.
"Police cannot just treat this as a complaint against officers. This is a case of criminal nature and, as such, a criminal investigation should be launched," said Southern District councillor Au Nok-hin.
Au said the complaint process took about 45 minutes.
The latest complainants said that not being present at the scene of the clashes did not bar them from making a report. Au urged more people to file complaints and mount pressure on the police so that "the force cannot sweep it under the carpet".
7.20pm: Around 150 protesters are locked in a stand-off with some 200 officers near the police headquarters in Wan Chai after the group were barred from entering the police compound.
The protesters, mostly social workers, marched along Lockhart Road, intending to enter the complex. However, only a few representatives were allowed in, and the rest were forced to stay about 20 metres away, on Arsenal Street, where they are now holding a sit-in.
Police raised a yellow banner warning them not to breach the cordon.
Social Welfare sector lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-Che is mediating.
7pm: Twenty-seven TVB journalists have published a letter on Facebook expressing their disagreement with and "regret" over their management's decision to edit out and then revise a portion of their report on the alleged beating of protester Ken Tsang.
In an early-morning report, containing footage of Tsang being brought to a dark alley and surrounded by officers, a TVB staffer is heard saying: "Officers are putting [the protester] on the ground, hitting him with their fists and kicking him." The voice-over was edited out in reports after 7am.
“It was only shortly before noon that the sentence, 'Police officers were suspected to have used excessive force on him’ was added again,” the Facebook letter reads.
Though the journalists acknowledge the description of punching and kicking is "not unchallengeable", they believe it is factually consistent.
“In the five hours that preceded the change, the voiceover was vacated, and it didn’t only make our report incomplete all of a sudden, but also reflected the management’s distrust of the original story. We feel extremely uncomfortable about that and couldn’t agree with that," they say.
"We think this is a defect in reporting the facts," they wrote in the letter. "As frontline journalists ... colleagues in our news department ... have been trying their best to report facts. We hope that the society can treasure the little press freedom in Hong Kong, support journalists’ independent reporting and not obstruct journalists from reporting facts."
The broadcasting company explained in a statement that the amendment to the Tsang report was to avoid a "prejudicial scenario". TVB said it kept the original footage intact for the public to judge.
6.45pm: Causeway Bay: Protesters are discussing whether to let trams through Yee Wo Street after Hong Kong Tramways managing director Emmanuel Vivant came to visit and requested that the passage be allowed so that tram cars could undergo maintenance.
Though trams are operating between Kennedy Town and Happy Valley, and between Shau Kei Wan and Victoria Park, the Wan Chai to North Point routes are blocked. Seven stops are currently suspended, Vivant says.
Vivant says some trams need to get to the maintenance depot on Whitty Street, Shek Tong Siu. There is a secondary depot in Sai Wan Ho, but that is only for light maintenance.
The protesters will take a vote on the issue tonight.
6.40pm: Most of the 45 Occupy protesters who were arrested during clashes around Lung Wo Road are expected to be bailed out, according to their lawyers.
The protesters are still giving police statements at the North Point Police Station.
One of the lawyers, Alvin Yeung, confirmed that the protesters were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly and obstruction of police. Dozens of lawyers are working pro bono on these cases, Yeung said.
6.30pm: Assistant transport commissioner Albert Su has blamed the ongoing protest blockades for a seven-kilometre-long traffic jam on westbound Gloucester Road this morning, as government officials renew calls for demonstrators to clear the streets.
He says the snarl stretched along the Island Eastern Corridor to the Eastern Harbour Tunnel's exit.
Su, speaking at a daily press conference, said there was a rise in illegal parking on Gloucester and Hennessy roads, and that nearly 250 bus and minibus routes were still either suspended or diverted.
Home Affairs Undersecretary Florence Hui, meanwhile, said some businesses were seeking legal damages for lost revenue and that police were facing physical and mental stress.
6.15pm: The Hong Kong police vow to continue removing obstacles in occupied zones – particularly large roadblocks in Mong Kok – so traffic "can at least be partially resumed".
Spokesman Steve Hui says they will not allow new roadblocks or the reinforcement of existing barricades, and have stepped up patrols to prevent reopened roads from being occupied again.
No roads have been reopened over the past 24 hours, police say, adding that they have enough manpower to "handle all situations".
Meanwhile, student activist group Scholarism has condemned the police’s use of force on protesters in Admiralty this morning, citing the alleged use of pepper spray, male officers reportedly dragging away female protesters, and the alleged kicking and hitting of a protester.
Scholarism demands the immediate release of arrested protesters, that police stop "using violence" and for police commander Andy Tsang Wai-hung to step down and apologise.
6.10pm: Asked to comment on the alleged beating of protester Ken Tsang, police spokesman Steve Hui Chun-tak says the force is seriously concerned about the incident and will proceed with the case if lawbreaking is found.
"Police operations have a high degree of transparency. We express serious concern over the incident and if there is any criminality revealed, we will proceed with the case in accordance with the law," he says in a press briefing.
Hui says the case will be submitted to the Independent Police Complaints Council for scrutiny after an investigation is completed.
He also gives an update on the 45 Occupy protesters arrested this morning, saying the youngest is 17 and the oldest is 54. They are suspected of unlawful assembly and obstructing police officers. Hui also revises the number of police injured during the Lung Wo Road clearance to five officers.
6pm: The MTR Corporation cancels its annual MTR Hong Kong Race Walking event on October 26. The race was supposed to start on Chater Road in Central, which had been occupied by protesters but was reopened to traffic earlier this week. The organisers apologised "for the disappointment caused".
5.50pm: Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, releases a statement urging protesters to leave the streets as they have already made themselves heard.
We can understand students' passion but their pursuit needs to be guided by wisdom. All people must abide by laws and Hong Kong police have been defending the city's law and order. It would be Hong Kong's biggest sorrow if the rule of law is undermined.
My young friends: your parents, family members, all Hong Kong people and the central government are concerned about your well-being. You have successfully conveyed your messages and everyone has heard you.
I urge all of you not to let today's fervour turn into tomorrow's regret. I sincerely call on you to return to the side of your families.
The Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa tycoon – with an estimated wealth of US$30.6 billion according to Forbes – adds that Hong Kong's way of life and political system are safeguarded for 50 years under "one country, two systems".
5.40pm: Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying confirms he cancelled plans to appear in Legco on Thursday due to safety reasons, adding that he does not want his presence to cause a commotion.
"There are ... appeals to protesters to besiege the Legislative Council tomorrow during the question-and-answer session," he says.
"I don't want my presence in the session to provoke a mass gathering, nor [for] police and security guards [to] have to use force to maintain order."
Leung says he will attend the Q&A in Legco under appropriate circumstances.
5.30pm: A number of pro-democracy groups plan to hold a series of protests outside the police headquarters in Wan Chai to denounce what they see as "abuse of power", after videos circulate of the police crackdown on protesters this morning.
The Labour Party, Neo-Democrats, League of Social Democrats, and the Neighbourhood and Worker Services Centre kicked off the protest at 4.30pm and plan to hold more until the evening. CY Leung and police chief commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung should take full responsibility and resign, they said.
"Arrest the black cops," the demonstrators chanted, using a term for corruption.
A member of the worker services centre reacted to a video of Civic Party member Ken Tsang being brought to an alley by officers. "The reason [police] dragged aside the protester was they wanted to evade public scrutiny," he said.
A Labour Party representative also criticised the alleged intimidation of the press: "[Police] are holding journalists back from reporting the event fairly."
The demonstrators also handed a letter to a police representative.
5.15pm: Police announce that seven officers have been identified in relation to the alleged beating of Civic Party member Ken Tsang and that a special team of "experienced and professional people" have been tasked to look into the case.
They said the seven – two inspectors and five constables – were not yet classified as subjects of a complaint as no-one had filed a statement with police as yet. Their names were not disclosed.
Police refused to answer repeated media questions about where the officers were transferred, which units they are part of or why they had not been suspended.
Tsang was filmed being brought to a dark alley early this morning where he was allegedly attacked by the officers. Police also refused to disclose what kind of experts and professionals were part of the special investigating team.
4.55pm: There are some 50 protesters in Yee Wo Street, now the only occupied area in Causeway Bay.
Housewife Jean Tsang, 54, has been spending her nights at the protest site in Mong Kok, but she is joining the protest today in Causeway Bay. She says it's irrelevant if the police decide to clean up the area. "They can't stop us. They could clean this perhaps in 30 minutes, but we can always go to Admiralty, Mong Kok or other places," she says.
After hearing about last night's events in Admiralty, where there were clashes between police and protesters, Tsang says she feels increasingly disappointed with the force. "I am angry and ashamed. We used to have the best police in the world, but that's no longer true," she says.
Tsang says she had also witnessed violence in Mong Kok and that she felt "police were on the same side as the mobs."
However, that won't deter Tsang from taking to the streets again. "Violence will not make us stay at home. The important thing is to fight for true democracy," she says.
"Democracy is important because it would be a more fair game. Now it's only for communists and tycoons. We want to have a chief executive and lawmakers who can represent ordinary Hong Kong people," Tsang says.
Chris Lee, 20, a software engineering student, has also joined the Causeway Bay protest, switching from Mong Kok.
"Police used too much violence yesterday ... I am afraid that something [might] happen here. I came because I have a friend here and I want to protect him and the people here," Lee says.
4.40pm: Transport unions say they have decided not to press ahead with a plan to demolish road barricades installed by occupiers, saying they were satisfied with police action to restore access to roads over the past few days.
Stanley Chiang Chi-wai, chairman of the Lok Ma Chau China-Hong Kong Freight Association says they would abort the plan scheduled for tomorrow as some roads have been partly reopened – but they would closely monitor the situation and be ready to exercise their "civil rights" to remove barricades at any time.
"The prompt action taken by police to remove the barricades on roads showed the police force's determination," Chiang says.
The coalition, made up of 10 unions and transport workers’ groups, had warned five days ago they would clear the roads themselves if the occupiers refused to remove the barricades.
4.30pm: New People's Party leader Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who formerly served as the Security Security, believes police will investigate Ken Tsang's case thoroughly and impartially in accordance with procedure.
"Definitely these sorts of allegations will adversely affect the police's image. If the police are able to investigate thoroughly and in a convincing manner, they would be able to repair any damage to their image," she tells the Post.
But Ip says the incident would not warrant the resignation of any senior officials.
"The incident is after all an isolated incident [which] occurred after more than two weeks of prolonged demonstration," she says.
She says police have been under a lot of pressure in the past two weeks as they are sandwiched between politicians and the media – who accuse them of using excessive force – and member of the public who want them to take more effective action. Whatever actions the police take are bound to receive complaints, she adds.
The current confrontation between the public and police is "unprecedented", says Ip, adding some individual officers might feel their burden is "over-bearing".
She advises the force to do more work to boost morale or even provide psychological guidance to officers.
4.10pm: A United States non-profit foundation denies reports in Chinese state media that it has played a key role in the Occupy Central protests.
The National Endowment for Democracy says that projects it has supported in Hong Kong over the years “have focused on encouraging good governance, supporting informed citizen engagement in the political process, and protecting human rights”.
The NED says it spent US$695,031 on such projects last year, with descriptions available on its website.
“Reports that NED vice-president Louisa Greve met with organisers of the Hong Kong protests are inaccurate, and while the National Endowment for Democracy is supportive of the goals of universal suffrage and genuine democracy, no leader of the current protests has sought assistance or counsel from the NED,” the NED says in a statement.
4pm: An ad hoc group formed online in response to the alleged beating of Ken Tsang is calling on members of the public to join them in what they describe as a "super cooperation movement" to report the matter to police.
Speaking outside police headquarters on Arsenal Street, organiser Jeff Au Yeung Ying-kit, who started two open events on Facebook, says a lawyer told them anyone who feels they have adequate evidence could file a report to police.
Together with about a dozen members of pan-democratic party People Power, the group plan to file separate reports in groups of two or three so that "they would feel less threatened by police" and "each will get a chance to describe in detail how they see the incident".
None of the members of the group were present on Lung Wo Road last night.
"As a doctor myself, it was shocking to see TV footage of people subjected to violence," Yeung says.
"We hope police could make use of this last chance to win back public trust in the force and launch a criminal investigation into this. We urge anyone who feels they have enough evidence to report it to the police."
Yeung says members of the group are expected to file reports at around 6.30pm.
Meanwhile, a group of 30 police supporters stood next to Yeung’s group to voice their backing for the force, many shouting profanities while the group spoke to the press.
Officers later moved in to separate the two groups. The police supporters presented flower and fruit bouquets to a station sergeant who came to receive the gifts.
3.50pm: A spokesman for the Chief Executive's Office says Leung Chun-ying's question-and-answer session, originally scheduled for tomorrow, would be postponed.
The spokesman says the decision was made after the assessment of security risk in the wake of the conflict between protesters and police last night and the occupation of the vicinity of the Legislative Council complex by demonstrators. The spokesman noted some people had called for demonstrators to lay siege to the Legco complex during the question-and-answer session.
3.45pm: Office workers in Admiralty who support the Occupy movement condemn the police officers’ behaviour during the operation to clear Lung Wo Road in the early hours of this morning.
“You can see the police savagely ripping protesters’ masks off and spraying them with pepper spray; it's really scary,” says Chong Hau-yi, 30, who’s here on her day off. “It's not a fair, one-on-one fight. If that was the case yesterday, it wouldn't have been so bad. But in the video we saw, it's six against one person who had no intention of fighting back, which is just horrible. The police are worse than animals.”
“The actions of the police are completely unacceptable,” agrees lawyer Johnnie Fung, 52.
“What we saw last night, or them taking a passive role when triad members show up. When I went to Mong Kok the day after the police used tear gas, someone was causing trouble, so the students surrounded him and called for the police to help.
“The police came and led him away. The students were worried that the police would just let him go, so they followed the policemen for the length of three streets. Only then did the police speak to the students and ask them what the troublemaker did, and if there were any witnesses. There must have been some conspiracy; how can you guarantee that the affected parties will follow along?
“Or when the triads appeared, there were far less policemen that day. The next day, officers from the organised crime unit blanketed the streets and kept asking people if they were triad members. The whole thing is just terrible.”
3.35pm: At Legco, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen says that the government “has been liaising with the Federation of Students, through a middleman” for a direct dialogue on the chief executive election in 2017.
“Hopefully the dialogue will be forthcoming,” he adds.
3.25pm: Beijing’s top office in Taiwan rebukes Taipei for making "irresponsible comments" on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, warning that cross-strait relations were at stake.
The Taiwan Affairs Office did not specify which comments, but said Beijing was "resolutely opposed" to comments from Taiwan about either Hong Kong or the mainland’s political system. "The peaceful development of cross-strait ties have not come easily, and need exceptional cherishing," the office said.
The liaison body also chastised Taiwan for the frequent protests that often rock the democratic island, most notably last March when students blockaded parliament and forced the suspension of a Beijing-Taipei trade pact.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou caused a stir last week when he urged the mainland to move towards democracy.
3pm: Pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily has asked the High Court to impose a ban on protesters who have attempted to block its operations for three days, according to a writ filed with the High Court yesterday.
The formal court document was submitted after Deputy High Court Judge Kent Yee Kai-siu granted a temporary injunction in the early hours of yesterday. Despite the issuance of the order, protesters still gathered at the entrance to Apple Daily's headquarters, which is located at Chun Ying Street in Tseung Kwan O, yesterday night. Protesters have been saying that they want to voice their anger against what they regard as the newspaper's favourable coverage of the Occupy movement. Many of the protesters spoke Cantonese with a mainland accent.
The writ says that Apple Daily, owned by media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chi-ying, is asking for an injunction restraining protesters from interfering with the operations of the newspaper. The protesters have clustered outside the offices of the news organisation every night since October 12, attempting to obstruct the delivery of the newspapers.
The newspaper also claims for “damages for nuisance, trespass, interference with use of right of way, and unlawful interference with economic interests”.
According to the judiciary, a hearing will be held again on Friday.
2.35pm: Protesters at the main tent of Occupy Mong Kok take turns using a microphone to condemn the police actions in Admiralty overnight. Scuffles nearly break out around the camp's perimeter as middle-aged and elderly people berate protesters for blocking the roads and not going to class.
Police have to intervene and separate the two sides.
The ruckus causes Occupy supporter Joe Lo Nga-yan to break down in tears. "In a real democracy, we understand that people with differences will want to voice their opinions. If police want to take them away then fine," says Lo, a dance teacher. "But beating someone is a question of morality and this is unacceptable."
She says a 17-year-old student of hers was on Lung Wo Road last night and was hit with police batons. "He's only a child. He shouldn't have been treated this way," Lo says.
Meanwhile, an anti-Occupy man wheeled in a red bucket filled with burning incense, hoping it would bother protesters. However, his plan went up in smoke when a police officer stepped in and doused the incense with water.
2.05pm: Civic Party vice-chairwoman Tanya Chan tells the press that fellow party member Ken Tsang sustained scratches, bruises and various markings from his hips up to his head. She is also one of Tsang’s lawyers.
"There were too many to count and marked down, so the doctors have photographed him," she says.
Since being escorted in to Ruttonjee Hospital by police at around 11am, Tsang has undergone a CT scan, X-Ray and other check-ups. No bones have been broken and no internal injuries are known yet, Chan says.
It is not known what made the round red marks most prominently seen on Tsang's back, but Chan said the 2cm diameter welts looked like they were created by a hard object.
According to Tsang's statement, he was also slapped when he was held at a police station, Chan says.
Chan says Tsang will be transported to North Point police station after the check-up.
"The aim is to get him out on bail as soon as possible so he can rest," she says. A complaint against the police has been lodged.
1.55pm: The Federation of Students condemns the police operation on Lung Wo Road this morning, saying that “it is not necessary for police to resort to eviction with violence.”
In a statement, the federation calls for the resignation of police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung, urging police to investigate incidents that occurred this morning, as well as offering apologies to victims.
The federation “reiterates that the government should listen to the request for a real election from the occupying citizens, and the demand should not be met by brutality from the authority,” the statement says.
“Unswayed by authority's power, HKFS will continue to fight hand in hand with citizens – to advance together for a real election.”
1.35pm: Two more Occupy Central supporters are escorted to Ruttonjee Hospital for checks on injuries, including a protester who was photographed and filmed in a Post video being pepper sprayed in the eyes as he held his hands in the air, after his goggles were pulled down by a police officer.
The total number of protesters escorted by police to Ruttonjee now amounts to eight. None of them have left yet.
The Civic Party’s Ronny Tong Kah-wah has arrived. He says he is providing legal assistance to Ken Tsang.
1.30pm: The morale of junior police officers has sunk to an all-time low as they are ordered to tolerate Occupy protesters who hold illegal rallies and cause gridlock, a police union leader claims.
"We start to be unable to distinguish right and wrong," Junior Police Officers' Association chairman Joe Chan Cho-kwong said in a telephone message to management that the union says does not represent its stance.
1.20pm: Harry’s View today provides some comic relief amid the chaos:
1pm: Amnesty International has joined the chorus of condemnation on the alleged beating of Ken Tsang.
“Hong Kong police officers involved in the beating and kicking of a detained pro-democracy protester on Wednesday must face justice,” a statement from the group says.
“This appears to be a vicious attack against a detained man who posed no threat to the police. Any investigation into this incident must be carried out promptly and all individuals involved in unlawful acts must be prosecuted,” says Mabel Au, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
“It is stomach-churning to think there are Hong Kong police officers that feel they are above the law.”
Au urges the release of all 45 demonstrators arrested last night, including Tsang, who is still in police custody as he undergoes a medical examination at Ruttonjee Hospital.
“All those being held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released,” she says.
“Amnesty International urges the Hong Kong police to show restraint and avoid any unlawful use of force.”
12.50pm: Pro-establishment lawmaker Lam Tai-fai, vice-chairman of the police watchdog, says he disapproves of any attempt to "use violence to combat violence".
Regarding the case of Ken Tsang, he urges witnesses to pass details to the relevant department.
Asked whether reassigning the officers involved to other posts was sufficient, Lam says the police should address public concerns as soon as possible.
12.35pm: A small group of anti-Occupy central protesters marches through the protest camp by Tamar Park and the entrance to Legco, shouting and calling Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan “despicable” for organising Occupy Central and allegedly taking money from foreigners.
They also accuse Lee of being "anti-China" and "messing up Hong Kong." They claim Lee took money from sources in the US to finance "anti-China" activities.
Occupy Central protesters surrounded the group, yelling that they should just collect the money that they were promised and go home. The Occupy Central protesters follow the group through most of the rally to continue the argument.
When asked, one of the anti-Occupy protesters says she doesn't know most of the people she was marching with, that two of her friends brought her here. The group claims to be a contingent of "hardworking Hongkongers."
A group of 20 policemen escort the anti-Occupy protesters all the way, until they finally leave via Admiralty MTR station.
12.20pm: Security Secretary Lai Tung-kwok warns the MTR is near to capacity after passenger numbers rose 13 per cent to 5.8 million on October 3, compared to the same day a week ago.
He says the MTRC has arranged extra trains since the occupation started, with the railway becoming the primary transportation of the city.
"But [the system] will reach its maximum capacity soon," he says.
He once again urges protesters to remove barricades and disperse peacefully.
12.15pm: Barrister and Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok alleges Ken Tsang was punched and slapped in the face at a police station after the alleged beating caught on camera.
“What [the policemen] have done us clearly criminal … and having them removed from their duty would be insufficient,” Kwok says.
He suggests that the alleged attackers should be arrested immediately.
12.10pm: Manson Yip, 19, witnessed clashes unfold between police and protesters on Lung Wo Road earlier this morning, and says the way officers handled the situation was infuriating.
"Not only were they pushing the crowd back, they were literally punching protesters," Yip says.
He admits that there was pushing back from the protesters, but says police resorted to excessive force.
The engineer recalls the Ken Tsang incident took place after a young man, who Yip says is his friend, was taken away by police, after barricades had been put on Lung Wo Road. He insists that his friend had done nothing wrong.
"A foreign police inspector in a white shirt then pulled him away," he says.
The crowd then became outraged as no explanation was given as to why his friend was arrested.
Yip says he has seen the video of Ken Tsang allegedly being assaulted by a slew of policemen.
"It's like [the police] can break the law whenever they want, and they have put themselves above the law," he says.
12.05pm: Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai says the alleged police attack on Ken Tsang could breach the Crimes (Torture) Ordinance, and the officers involved could be jailed for life if they are proved guilty of inflicting severe pain on another while performing official duties.
"Police officers are supposed to protect members of the public and they should never let their emotions prompt them to do anything illegal," he says.
Law says Human Rights Monitor observers, apparently wearing identification vests and helmets, were also attacked by the police in the early hours of this morning.
"This is totally unacceptable and they have breached the Johannesburg Principles – an international standard which gives [human rights observers] the right to monitor the scene," he says.
Law describes the police's "unprofessional act" last night as an "erosion of the police force's image", urging the force and its watchdog to investigate the case.
Noon: Ken Tsang arrived at Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai by ambulance, accompanied by Civic Party vice-chairwoman Tanya Chan and escorted by police, about half an hour ago. He entered the hospital through the emergency doors.
Three more protesters arrive shortly after Tsang in separate ambulances, also escorted by police, registering at reception before going to the emergency ward.
11.50am: Occupy Central have released more photos of Ken Tsang taken this morning, showing more bruises to his face and his back.
11.45am: Recent graduate Kyle Yeung, 24, says he witnessed police beating a man after spending the night by government headquarters in Admiralty.
“At around 3am a crowd of policemen in riot gear, hundreds of them, showed up and started pushing us, trying to drive us off Lung Wo Road,” he says.
“I was in the middle, so I was trying to help the people who had been hit by pepper spray. I saw at least 10 [protesters hit by pepper spray]. We retreated to the protest zone outside Legco and stayed there for the rest of the night.
“I'm very dissatisfied with what the police did. If they wanted to arrest us, we would have gone along with that, but I saw them deliberately beating up students and protesters.
“There was one protester who had his hands up, but the police said they were provoked so they dragged him to a corner and beat him up. A lot of people, including the media, saw this. We couldn't see it until reporters shone their lights because it was so dark.
“We'll leave as soon as the government gives us an answer that satisfies us. I'm confident not many citizens want to spend so much time sleeping in the streets.
“If the police push us away, we'll leave and regroup somewhere else.”
11.30am: Now TV broadcasts footage which they say shows Ken Tsang throwing water onto police in the moments before he was detained.
A man wearing a black Corinthians Brazilian football club T-shirt – the same as the one worn by Tsang in photos released this morning – can be seen in the video standing on the top of a tunnel wall, squirting liquid from a bottle onto police officers standing below on Lung Wo Road.
11.25am: Pro-government lawmaker Tam Yiu-chung’s proposal to set up an inquiry into the Occupy Central protests’ organisation and financial sources was earlier endorsed by 37 pro-government lawmakers, including Tam himself.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party lawmaker Sin Chung-kai’s proposal to set up an inquiry into the police’s handling of Occupy Central protests was endorsed by 25 pan-democrat lawmakers, including Sin himself.
11.20am: Speaking to the media earlier before attending a Legco meeting, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok announced that "the personnel concerned have been transferred away from the current positions", after the Complaints Against Police Office received a complaint about the alleged attack on Ken Tsang.
11.15am: Angry protesters hurl insults at the handful of legislators going into the Legislative Council, accusing them of being “communist dogs” and “scum”, among other things.
Reporters question the lawmakers about the video footage of Ken Tsang’s alleged beating by police.
Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee talks to reporters for more than two minutes – and gets the lion's share of the scolding for her troubles.
"No one should draw any conclusions before an investigation is complete. I was watching on TV last night as well
and the situation was very confusing. The police are under immense pressure. They were even forced to take shelter in a tunnel at one point," she says.
When asked why she condemned protesters charging a police barrier but not the police allegedly beating up a protester, Ip replies that charging a police barrier is illegal, drawing another angry outburst from protesters.
Legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan passed by earlier, wearing a blue ribbon on her dress. She arrived earliest, avoiding the protester’s insults.
"I was watching TV this morning and I saw several people pulling one person aside, then they were kicking something. I also question this: was the person already cuffed? If so, was kicking him necessary? It looked like he wasn't going to resist. I hope the police will investigate this," she said.
11.10am: Protesters in Mong Kok say they were angered but not intimidated by the police's handling of protesters in Admiralty overnight – making them more determined to hang on to their protest site.
Some say they are outraged by the TVB footage of Civic Party member Ken Tsang allegedly being beaten by police officers.
"How could they take him into a corner and beat him up? The police are just like thugs," says Kit Law, 20, who studies engineering at Chinese University.
"But it just made me more determined to come out. I am not intimidated."
Another protester, 20-year old William Yu, says the police's image has deteriorated sharply since the Occupy movement began.
"I have long felt that the police are not politically neutral. When there were quarrels between people pro- and anti-Occupy, the police would form a human chain. But the thing is, why did the police not arrest those who beat up the Occupy protesters?"
11.05am: Some 30 protesters are left at the much smaller Causeway Bay protest site this morning.
Most protesters are either just waking up or chatting in groups.
"I'd be scared if [police] have knives," says Year One medical sciences student Katrina. But she says she would join Admiralty protesters if police come to clear the sit-in there
The plan was to have all the women leave while the men stay if things get rough, she says.
11am: A member of the mainland's top advisory body says the protests will have a long-term effect on Hong Kong's reputation and competitiveness, and that a few international conferences, including one on urology originally scheduled to be in the city, have been cancelled due to safety fears.
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) member Anthony Wu Ting-yuk says the city would lose out to Malaysia or South Korea in the bidding to host another international conference with thousands of delegates.
"This is not some short-term damage but a long term effect. [It affects] whether Hong Kong would take a step back from the high position it holds in the international world." Wu said on Commercial Radio this morning.
Wu, former chairman of the Hospital Authority, says he has made a few trips to Harcourt Road in Admiralty to talk to protesters, some of them medical students.
"There were students handing me water and cooling peels, and there were students cleaning and sweeping the floor. [The protest] has displayed the high standard of Hongkongers," he added. "The past few weeks have really saddened me.”
He urges the government and protesters to "sit down and talk about it" to settle their differences and find a way out.
Wu says the government should also explain to the students about the rule of law, and how the legal framework laid down by National People’s Congress is the "bottom line".
"But there are many other aspects of a discussion, for example, the number of voters who could choose the election committee can be expanded," he said.
10.55am: At Legco, Civic Party leader Alan Leong says: "From what we have seen, Tsang was already handcuffed with plastic handcuffs... and taken to a dark corner and beaten up. This use of power and police force is a blatant abuse of power, and from the look of it, the [officer] should at least be investigated on assault to [induce] actual bodily harm."
The director of public prosecution should also intervene, he suggests.
10.50am: Secretary-general of the Federation of Students Alex Chow Yong-kong says there is no place for police to exercise the degree of force allegedly used against Tsang. He called the police action unreasonable and an abuse of authority.
"You can see [Tsang] had been dragged aside, meaning that he was in police detention," Chow says.
It was a case of individual police officers taking out their anger on a member of the public, he adds.
"It is contradictory to the expectation of the people, who believe they are under the protection of the police," Chow says.
"Police should explain, investigate and make an apology for this matter."
10.45am: The Occupy movement also condemns the alleged beating of Tsang.
Occupy Central stresses that Tsang did not resist, obstruct or pose a threat to police officers in the clear-out operation.
Any person not convicted by a court of law should be considered innocent and the police officers must absolutely not resort to extra-judicial punishment, an Occupy statement says.
The actions have breached Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s earlier pledge: as long as protesters don’t cross police lines, police will exercise maximum tolerance, and allow protesters to gather.
10.40am: Twenty-two pan-democrat lawmakers are holding a joint press conference, condemning the police's "illegal punishment" in the alleged beating of Ken Tsang, a Civic Party member.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong says if the police are still concerned about the force’s reputation, it must launch a criminal investigation into the six police officers who allegedly attacked Tsang.
The police watchdog should also speak up on the matter, Leong urges.
10.35am: Police say they have already taken action over the video footage of Ken Tsang’s alleged beating and will conduct an impartial investigation.
— Katy Lee 李玥缇 (@kjalee) October 15, 2014
10.15am: A photograph has been released of Ken Tsang, taken this morning at Police College in Wong Chuk Hang. Tsang appears to have sustained bruises to his face.
Barrister and Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok is with Tsang and providing legal assistance.
10am: More space, cleaner air and an increase in civic spirit … some Hongkongers think the protests have had a positive affect on occupied Causeway Bay.
9.45am: British minister of state Hugo Swire says that the UK remains “fully committed to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration”, adding that “Hong Kong’s future is best served by a transition to universal suffrage, in line with the Basic Law”.
Here’s his statement to parliament in London:
"I have been following the situation in Hong Kong particularly closely in recent weeks. The government has called on all sides to ensure that the demonstrations remain peaceful. Equally, it is important that Hong Kong’s fundamental rights and freedoms continue to be respected, including the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in accordance with the law. The government remains fully committed to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, on the implementation of which the foreign secretary will continue to report to parliament regularly.
“On the question of constitutional reform, the foreign secretary and I have consistently expressed to all parties the government’s view that Hong Kong’s future is best served by a transition to universal suffrage, in line with the Basic Law, which meets the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, and which offers them a genuine choice in the election of the chief executive.
“The government continues to encourage all parties to engage in dialogue and to work towards a consensus that allows a significant step forward for democracy. I look forward in due course to the resumption by the Hong Kong government of the official consultation on plans to implement universal suffrage in 2017.”
9.30am: Basic Law Committee member and University of Hong Kong law professor Albert Chen Hung-yee says he hopes the police would handle any investigation into the alleged beating of Ken Tsang Kin-chiu impartially.
"Such things often happen in the US," he tells an RTHK morning talk show.
9.15am: Civic Party leader Alan Leong says four lawyers representing Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, his party member who was allegedly beaten by a group of police officers shown in TVB footage, visited Tsang at the temporary dentention centre at Police College in Wong Chuk Hang a few minutes ago.
They plan to send Tsang to hospital and have his wounds inspected soon. Leong added that the lawyers who met Tsang this morning said he was emotional and suffering from injuries.
9.10am: The Mong Kok protest site remains largely peaceful after several men woke up the Occupy protesters this morning by yelling insults.
Police have not made any attempts to remove any barricades so far this morning, despite warnings yesterday that they would do so.
Several protesters say they will allow police to remove barriers if they try to because there is nothing they can do.
They also say that new barricades would probably be built if the original ones are removed.
9am: Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit confirms that the protester allegedly being beaten by a group of police officers, shown on TVB news footage, is his party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu. He says he has no update of Tsang at the moment since he has been arrested by the police.
Member of the Independent Police Complaints Council Eric Cheung Tat-ming told Commercial Radio that he could not comment on individual incidents without an investigation. He stresses it is unacceptable for the police to "beat up people in a dark corner" in any case, and the council would investigate if there is a complaint.
Cheung says according to the footage, there is surface evidence to show that police officers may have committed a criminal act of assault.
He says the police should explain to the public or they would appear to be protecting illegal actions.
8.15am: Broadcaster TVB airs footage of what they claim is a group of police officers beating a handcuffed protester for several minutes. The authenticity of the video could not be immediately independently verified.
At a press briefing shortly after the clear-out operation at Lung Wo Road, Police Senior Superintendent Tsui Wai-hung said he had no information on the incident. Tsui urged people to contact police should they have further information.
7.50am: Crowd size estimates by reporters at the scene:
Mong Kok: 50
7.30am: Police handcuff and escort away a man in Admiralty after he took equipment to a barricade there. A police officer says protesters are damaging government property.
7.07am: Just published:
6.39am: Police press conference at headquarters in Wan Chai:
Senior Superintendent Tsui Wai-hung says 37 men and eight women were arrested for illegal assembly during the Lung Wo Road clear-out operation.
No protesters had reported any injuries, Tsui said, but four police officers were hurt during clashes. "One of our colleagues' left shoulder was dislocated," he says. "Another one suffered a cut near the eye after being poked by an umbrella.".
6.05am: Lung Wo Road in Admiralty has been opened to traffic in the past hour.
— Phila Siu (@phila_siu) October 14, 2014
6.02am: Excerpts from the Post's coverage of the Occupy movement on Wednesday:
"I think any true Hongkonger should and would [come out in support of students]," said Dominic Cheung Yue-bun, 46, who works in information technology. "The movement can't stop now. It needs to continue until some fruit can be seen."
"Their behaviour has shown they actually do not want, and do not need, to resolve the issue by having dialogue … [They don't have] the consciousness of following rules, or the concept of holding negotiations," read the article, authored by a person called Guoping.
The net approval rating of Lai, the secretary for security, plunged to zero in the latest monthly university poll on the popularity of the chief executive and his 12 principal officials.
6am: Here's a how Occupy has affected the popularity ratings of Hong Kong's top politicians:
5.50am: What the front-pages of the local papers are saying:
Apple Daily: Police clear protest sites day and night
Oriental Daily: Queensway cleared during the day, Lung Wo Road turns violent at night
Ming Pao: Unlike with Art.23 and national education, this time the central government refuses to back down
Sing Tao Daily: Nightly attack on Lung Wo Road
5.16am: First aid volunteer Lai Wing-cheung says he treated 10 people hit by pepper spray or with leg injuries after the police onslaught. The 21-year-old says he struggled to provide help, because police kept everyone away, without exception.
"We would have liked to stay outside the chief executive's office to help anybody who was injured, but police just told us to get out no matter who you are," he says. "I was so scared. We just wanted to help anyone in need."
Sam Tso, 26, says he disagreed with fellow demonstrators who occupied Lung Wo Road on Tuesday. "The CE's office is now clear," he says. "What have we gained?"
5.00am: Meanwhile the situation appears to be calm in Mong Kok, where some 100 protesters are camping out. Police said yesterday they might clear parts of the occupied area today:
Four protesters man a sentry post at the intersection of Nathan Road and Dundas Street, the location of Occupy Mong Kok's southern and least secured barricade. Demonstrators say this is the most likely place for police to take action.
4.40am: Lung Wo Road has been cleared. Arguments continue on side roads. Police have not cleared the main occupied area in Admiralty.
Police clearing barriers in Admiralty #hongkong #occupyhk
4.09am: Police say operations are ongoing. Here's our story of how protesters reoccupied Lung Wo Road on Tuesday:
4am: Chaotic scenes in Admiralty, where hundreds of police officers are facing an angry crowd of hundreds of protesters.
WATCH: Hong Kong police use pepper spray in Lung Wo Road clear-out operation
3.10am: Police detain several protesters.
Sequence of pictures before and after this protester got pepper sprayed, as police advanced this morning in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/Gq9q5CFjWQ
— Alex Ogle (@Alex_Ogle) October 14, 2014
3.05am: Protesters appear to be outnumbered by police, who attempt to surround them. Police form cordon lines and urge protesters to leave Lung Wo Road.
3am: Scuffles erupt and police use pepper spray. Police tear down barricades and tents on the road. Protesters refuse to leave, many hold up their hands.
2.55am: Some 150 police officers, many carrying shields, emerge at various junctions in Admiralty and march towards the crowd gathered near the chief executive's office. Protesters don't retreat. Some distribute gas masks and umbrellas in preparation for a confrontation at Lung Wo Road.
2.45am: Police Senior Superintendent Tsui Wai-hung says police will soon clear Lung Wo Road.
2.40am: The South China Morning Post's front-page on Wednesday:
#occupyhk #hongkong protestors finding ways to fortify barricades or create new ones during overnight clashes with police
2.10am: In case you missed it, here is what you need to know from the Post's coverage of the Occupy movement on Tuesday:
Chief Superintendent of the Hong Kong police’s public relations branch, Hui Chun-tak, said police would remove large obstacles from the protest site in Mong Kok to restore partial, if not full, traffic access to the area.
Daniel Wong Hon-shing, chief executive at commercial property agency Midland IC&I, said negotiations on five properties had stalled due to the difficulty of assessing the impact of the protests on the Hong Kong economy.
Zhang Xiaoming , director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, 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".
Watch: Protesters reoccupy Lung Wo Road in Admiralty after clash with police