More than 20 bailiffs joined by police began dismantling wooden and metal barricades in an operation, which has been ordered by Hong Kong’s Supreme Court. The effort is expected to last for around two days.
Police have warned demonstrators that they would face arrests if they hindered the works. The protesters, who have been relatively calm, moved their tents and belongings to another area.
Hong Kong’s highest court has officially ruled to unblock parts of roads and crossroads in a densely populated Mong Kong area. The order comes following a lawsuit filed by a bus firm and two taxi companies, which have suffered loss amid traffic chaos.
Last week, a court order was enforced to clear parts of streets near an office center next to a government complex in the Admiralty area. The removal effort was followed by clashes between demonstrators and police. Dozens of students attempted to storm the building of the Legislative Council. Police used batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowds.
China insists that candidates should be first approved by a special committee, while protesters believe this is an undemocratic procedure and urge Beijing to lift the restrictions.
The massive demonstrations reached their peak in the first week of October, when tens of thousands of local residents took to the streets. Authorities have accused external forces of attempting to destabilize the situation in Hong Kong.
Although the protests have recently subsided, every day dozens of activists staying in tent camps continue disrupting the traffic in key streets of three protest sites in the city.
Media reports said protest leaders now disagree on the further strategy of their actions. While some activists say that there is a need to suspend the protests and even call to surrender to police, others are set to stay in the streets to the bitter end.