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Protesters in Hong Kong have retaken their protest camp

Protesters are angry at what they see as China’s interference with Hong Kong’s independence.

Hong Kong Democracy Protest Endgame Source: Apexchange

RIOT POLICE CLASHED violently with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong overnight as demonstrators reoccupied a camp mostly cleared the previous day, leading to multiple arrests and jeopardising talks aimed at ending a political stalemate.

Police used batons and pepper spray against protesters shielding themselves with umbrellas on a normally busy main road in the bustling Mongkok district, but were forced into a partial retreat as the sun began to rise, to cheers from the crowd.

Activists rushed to rebuild makeshift barricades in an area police had opened to traffic 24 hours earlier, while thousands of others staged a sit-in at the protest camp that has existed for nearly three weeks, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Hong Kong Democracy Protest Endgame Source: Apexchange

Hong Kong police said in a statement they had made 26 arrests in scuffles with a crowd that had swelled to 9,000 people in the early hours, with 15 officers sustaining injuries in the ruckus.

It was the third consecutive night that violence has broken out after a fortnight of comparative calm — a development that risks sinking only recently resurrected plans to hold talks between student leaders and the city’s Beijing-backed authorities.

Hong Kong police commissioner Andy Tsang told reporters the force had been tolerant since the rallies began in hopes that the protesters would “calm down”.

Hong Kong Democracy Protest Endgame Source: Apexchange

“Unfortunately these protesters chose to carry on with their unlawful acts, including acts which are even more radical and more violent,” Tsang said.

The Asian financial hub has been rocked for weeks by demonstrations — some of which have drawn crowds of tens of thousands — calling for fully free elections and the resignation of the city’s leader Leung Chun-ying.

© – AFP 2014

Read: Who is protesting in Hong Kong and why?

Read: Video of Hong Kong police beating handcuffed protester hikes tensions

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