November 28, 2014

Police say streets around Nathan Road

Authorities began demolishing one of the largest camps, in the Mong Kok commercial district, on Tuesday.

The operation began peacefully but scuffles broke out overnight and in the morning, during which Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were held for contempt.

Police say streets around Nathan Road are clear for the first time in weeks.

Some activists have said they will regroup elsewhere, vowing to continue their demands for a free choice of leader for Hong Kong's chief executive elections in 2017.

Other protest camps remain in the government district and the Causeway Bay shopping area.
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Analysis: John Sudworth, BBC News, Shanghai

There have been attempts to clear Hong Kong's streets before, notably of course, right at the beginning of the protests. Video footage of the protesters defending themselves with umbrellas from the pepper spray became the defining image and only served to give the movement massive momentum.

Now though, the authorities are taking a more careful approach. Recent clearance efforts, including those over the past two days in the Mong Kok district, have been to enforce the court injunctions, won by businesses including the city's taxi drivers, angered over the effect on their businesses.

They also come at a time when the protesters are weary after two solid months of sit-ins, their numbers dwindling, and not long after the world spotlight has left China following the Apec Summit. Scenes of Hong Kong chaos might not have played well with the world leaders meeting in Beijing.

But with Mong Kok cleared, two other sites remain, including the main protest site in the heart of the financial district. Further court injunctions or not, that remains a much tougher proposition.
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