09/27/2014, 00.00
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Hong Kong police arrest 50 students

The student class boycott has culminated in clashes with security forces. Young people react peacefully, shouting: "No fear for civil disobedience". The authorities deny bail to one of the student leaders.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After a night of tension between pro-democracy protesters and police, today the Hong Kong security forces evacuated the "Civic Square" in the square in front of government headquarters in Tamar and arrested 50 students. The young people allowed police to  carry them away without resisting, chanting the slogan: " No fear for civil disobedience". A spokesman of the police said that they will be taken to the Police College in Wong Chuk Hang-which will be used as a temporary detention center.

The week-long strike launched by university students - who yesterday were joined by 1,200 high school students - culminated in chaos last night when about 200 demonstrators managed to break the barricades and enter Civic Square. At 7:20 this morning (local time) the police showed up in riot gear and used pepper spray to disperse them.

Meanwhile, the authorities have denied bail to Joshua Wong Chi-fung, president of Scholarism student group, who was arrested last night. He is being charged with three misdemeanors, but police have yet to confirm which. Gary Fong Chi-shun, of the Students Federation, has announced that the protesters will gather at Tamar until the Chief Executive of the Territory Leung Chun-ying and the administration respond to their questions on universal suffrage; why they used so much violence; and until all those arrested are released.

Strikes and public events linked to Occupy Central - a non-violent movement that calls for democracy for the former British colony - recommenced after the Chinese central government rejected the demands of the local population for the vote of 2017. Beijing has determined that the forthcoming elections for the political leadership of Hong Kong will take place through a system vetted candidates, "two or three" at most, and that the vote will be indirect.

To protest this decision, Occupy Central announced a "Democracy banquet," whose "first course" will be a great event scheduled for October 1. The local police, to try to curb these protests, announced that "the public meetings of more than 50 people and marches with more than 30 participants will require our permission. Without which they will be considered unauthorized and therefore unlawful."


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