Pro-democracy protesters clash with police as they try to surround Hong Kong government headquarters in an attempt to revitalise the movement for political reforms.
Further scuffles broke out between protesters and police on Monday morning, Hong Kong media reported, after arguments between protesters and police led protesters to storm into the Admiralty Centre shopping mall.
Several people were injured in the scuffles, one of whom was a plain-clothed police officer, according to local media.
Many in the crowd were wearing surgical masks, hard hats, goggles and construction style eye protectors, some shouting, “Corrupted cops!”
Student leaders told a big crowd last night at the main protest site outside government headquarters that they would escalate their campaign, and hundreds of protesters pushed past police lines on the other side of the complex from the protest site.
At a news conference Hong Kong’s Secretary of Security Lai Tung-kwok defended police actions, saying that they had no choice.
“It is their duty to restore law and order,” he said.
Overnight, social media was awash with reports of the clashes:
— ant (@antd) December 1, 2014
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) December 1, 2014
— Paula Chertok (@PaulaChertok) November 30, 2014
Police said 40 protesters had been arrested, adding that authorities would not let the road, a major thoroughfare, remain blocked.
Protesters said they were taking action to force a response from Hong Kong’s government, which has made little effort to address their demands that it scrap a plan by China’s communist leaders to use a panel of Beijing-friendly elites to screen candidates for Hong Kong’s leader in inaugural 2017 elections.