Groups of masked men who some suspect were members of triads, or organized crime gangs, have also clashed with protesters as they attempted to remove barricades
HONG KONG — Backed by a court order, workers removed some barricades on Tuesday from a Hong Kong democracy protest site where activists have camped out for nearly two months in a standoff with authorities.
The workers cut plastic ties holding metal barricades together in an area outside the Citic Tower office building and then loaded them into a waiting truck.
Student-led demonstrators, who have been protesting for greater democracy in the former British colony, did not resist. Some had already moved their tents to other parts of the protest zone ahead of the clearance operation, which was observed by dozens of court bailiffs, police officers and 카지노사이트 reporters.
The protesters oppose the Chinese government’s requirement for a panel of Beijing-friendly elites to screen candidates in the inaugural 2017 election for Hong Kong’s top official. Chinese authorities have declared the gatherings illegal and neither the Hong Kong government nor the student leaders have shown any willingness to compromise.
Leaders of a student group that have played a key role in organizing the street protests say they want to meet with senior Chinese leaders. But when three of them tried to fly to Beijing on Saturday, they were denied boarding because their permits to enter mainland China were invalid. It is unclear what the students plan to do next.
Many protesters suspect that the authorities will resort to more court orders to gradually clear out the protest zones after previous attempts using other methods failed.
“Before they tried to use police to do it, after that they found triads. Now they’re going to use bailiffs and injunctions,” said protester Angelo Heung, a 34-year-old freelance art designer. “They’re going to use legal principles and court orders but we still won’t be afraid.”
On several occasions, police took protesters by surprise as they attempted to dismantle barricades in dawn operations that backfired, drawing more people out into the streets.
Groups of masked men who some suspect were members of triads, or organized crime gangs, have also clashed with protesters as they attempted to remove barricades.
The barricade removal comes after the tower’s owner, Chinese state-owned conglomerate Citic Ltd., was granted a restraining order requiring protesters to stop blocking access for cars and pedestrians to the building. The building is across the road from Hong Kong city government headquarters, which has been encircled by the protesters.