11/26/2014, 00.00
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Occupy: Police clear Nathan Road. At least 116 arrests

by Paul Wang
Two student leaders arrested: Joshua Wong, of Scholarism (high school); and Lester Shum, of the Federation of University Students. At least 7 thousand policemen razed and cleaned up the site where the sit-in lasted 60 days. Police accused of manipulating the law and the court order.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - This morning shortly after nine am local time, police completely cleared young people of Occupy's Nathan Road sit-in which had lasted for 60 days to demand real democracy in Hong Kong.

Police were carrying out the terms of a court injunction that required the evacuation of the road after a taxi firm had filed the complaint. The taxi drivers were among the people who destroyed barricades removed tents and gazebos, wearing red hats and T-shirts that read "I love Hong Kong". The safety of their work was guaranteed by the presence of least 7 thousand policemen.

Yesterday the police had cleared the intersection of Nathan Road and Argyle Street, in Mong Kok, a densely populated area, with hotels and commercial outlets. The police even went beyond the terms of the injunction and also cleared the adjacent streets. Because of this, there were some overnight clashes between the police, armed with batons, shields and pepper spray and young people armed only with umbrellas.

Also this morning, the injunction only provided for the opening up of Nathan Road to traffic, but the police have effectively dismantled the whole Mong Kok sit-in.

At least 116 demonstrators were arrested for "obstructing a court order", for "illegal occupation of public land", for "possession of weapons". Those arrested include two leaders of student organizations: Joshua Wong, of Scholarism, a group of high school students; and Lester Shum, of the Federation of University Students.

Students accuse the police of manipulating the law and court order to obtain what it, the government and Beijing have wanted for some time: the end of the demonstrations.

The sit-in at Admiralty, home to the financial and governmental offices, remains in place.


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