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Hong Kong police removing barricades at last protest site

December 15, 2014, 10:43 UTC+3 HONG KONG
Several dozen protesters currently remain in the area calling for the city’s chief executive to resign
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© EPA/JEROME FAVRE

HONG KONG, December 15. /TASS/. Police in Hong Kong on Monday began an operation to clear barricades at the last remaining protest site, the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay.

Police officers have started dismantling numerous tents and metallic barriers, which block the traffic. Several dozen protesters currently remain in the area calling for the city’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, to resign.

Last Thursday, police removed barricades in the main protest camp in the Admiralty district, next to the city government offices. A total of 247 activists were detained during the operation and were released on bail a day later.

Police earlier planned to clear the area in Causeway Bay the same day. The effort was delayed amid plans to maintain security in downtown Hong Kong as fears grew that protests could be resumed during the week-end. However, no new actions were staged.

Three weeks ago, authorities removed barricades in Mong Kok, a busy shopping district on the Kowloon Peninsula, the scene of violent clashes with police.

Authorities say Monday’s operation will put an end to the Occupy Central protest movement, which hit Hong Kong, a former British colony, over two and a half months ago.

The demonstrators’ key demands are that Beijing cancels restrictions at elections of chief executive in 2017 and ensures that they are free and based on universal suffrage.

Under these slogans, the students have staged mass demonstrations which reached their peak in the first week of October, when tens of thousands of local residents took to the streets.

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