Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hong Kong Protesters Resist Eviction from Camp. Are More Clashes to Come?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hong Kong Protesters Resist Eviction from Camp. Are More Clashes to Come?

Article excerpt

Police in Hong Kong clashed with pro-democracy demonstrators on Tuesday in what became a protracted effort to clear them from one of several streets they have occupied for nearly two months.

Officers used tear gas at the end of a day in which they arrested 30 protesters, including maverick Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok- hung, widely known by his nickname Longhair.

The action to empty less than 100 yards of Argyle Street in response to a court injunction was a dry run for both sides ahead of a much larger eviction planned for tomorrow.

Today's events showed that a planned clearance Wednesday of nearby Nathan Road in the Mong Kok area of Kowloon may be more difficult and prolonged, and possibly more violent, than initially expected.

An internal poll conducted by the Occupy Central movement showed that a majority of its protesters would return home if asked. But there remains considerable sentiment in their ranks for more aggressive action.

The protests started in September and are a demand, particularly by students, for greater democracy and more say for Hong Kong people in running their own affairs than China's government in Beijing has been willing to allow.

Nathan Road is the major commercial north-south thoroughfare running through Kowloon, the peninsula where the bulk of Hong Kong's seven million people live. The road is lined by hotels, banks, fashion boutiques, and tourist-oriented shops. Student-led demonstrators are camped out along several blocks of the broad avenue, as they are at other sites - still awaiting clearance - on Hong Kong's main island.

Tuesday's evictions on nearby Argyle Street involved court bailiffs, uniformed officers and, eventually, riot police armed with pepper spray. No spray was seen used during the seven hours needed to clear an area that was shorter than a soccer field and about half as wide. …

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