Police clearing Mong Kok occupy protests

Hundreds of police officers, many in riot gear, swooped into Hong Kong’s Mong Kok Occupy encampment in the early hours of this morning.

Police and street cleaners removed barricades and tents, leaving pro-democracy protesters restricted a smaller area of Nathan Rd in Kowloon, occupying the southbound side only.

Students sitting on the street

Superintendent Steven Tate told Huffington Post that the police had “no plans” to move the remaining demonstrators. Around 100-200 remained on site at 11am this morning.

Mong Kok protestor shouting

Some onlookers heckled and lashed out at the remaining protesters. Other bystanders voiced support for them.

An anti-Occupy protestor in Mong Kok

There was little resistance in the early hours, though there were reports of some injuries.

Mong Kok protestor injured

Bamboo barricades were replaced with police barricades as tents, shrines, posters and pallets were removed.

Barricades cleared in Mong Kok

Tents and supplies began to reappear as the remaining protesters sat down in front of the police front line. Many pledged to remain.

Barricades cleared in Mong Kok

Yesterday, Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-Ying indicated that protest camp clearances would continue but demonstrators would be allowed to remain. Talks between the government and student leaders are due to take place next week.

Barricades cleared in Mong Kok

Mong Kok protest leader Wong Yeung Tat of Civic Passion appealed for more protesters to join the camp.

Protestor in Mong Kok

Jewellery shops began to reopen as normal.

Jewellery shop manager in Mong Kok
Police officers at Mong Kok Occupy

Traffic flow on Argyle Street and northbound on Nathan Road has been restored.

Police officers at Mong Kok Occupy

The remaining occupation camp stretches from Shantung Street to Argyle Street on Nathan Road, though police barricades stretch as far south as Dundas Street. Protest camps near government headquarters and in the shopping district of Causeway Bay remain.

Cleaning ladies cleaning Mong Kok street after Occupy camp clearout

Demonstrators are demanding full universal suffrage in the city and are calling for its besieged leader Leung Chun-ying to step down. In August, China announced that Hong Kongers would only be able to choose from two or three pre-approved election candidates in 2017. Pro-democracy occupation protests are now continuing into their third week.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.