HK police remove barricades, protest remains

Protesters stand by and watch as operation quickly dismantles scores of barricades Tuesday morning

HK police remove barricades, protest remains

World Bulletin/News Desk

Hundreds of police - some with chainsaws - removed bamboo road blockades built by pro-democracy campaigners at Hong Kong protest sites on Tuesday, raising tensions as the demonstration entered its 17th day.

Protesters stood by and watched as officers quickly dismantled scores of barricades near the main protest site in the Admiralty district. A truck-mounted crane loaded the wreckage onto lorries that then hauled the debris away. Dozens of officers with riot shields guarded those pulling down the blockades.

On Wednesday, taxi drivers - who claim the protests have cost them a 50 percent drop in earnings - are expected to march on protest sites, having threatened to remove the barricades if they have not been cleared.

The protesters reinforced their defenses with bamboo, cement and metal chains on Monday following clashes with groups - among them taxi and truck drivers - earlier in the day that opposed the movement.

Within hours of the start of Tuesday's operation westbound vehicles traveled along Queensway Road, a major thoroughfare, for the first time in more than a fortnight. The eastbound lane was yet to reopen with cleaners still tidying the area.

Police had reopened another road to traffic Monday after removing barricades from around the landmark Sogo department store in Causeway Bay, the site of a third protest. Riot police lined up at the side of the road before removing blockades.

The protests, which have been joined by tens of thousands of Hong Kongers over the last two weeks, are seen as the biggest challenge to Beijing's control over the former British colony since the handover in 1997.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2014, 11:31

Muhammed Öylek