Day two of Occupy Central. Police violence comes under fire
by Paul Wang
The downtown streets are closed: Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay. In Kowloon, Nathan Road, Mong Kok and Argyle Street closed. Schools and banks closed. The teachers union joins the strike. Overnight police used batons, spray, tear gas to disperse protesters, who are demanding the resignation of Leung Chun-ying. Beijing slams the movement as "illegal".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators continue to occupy the main streets of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon on day two of the Occupy Central campaign demanding full democracy the territory's elections.

Last night, protesters occupied the area of Admiralty, near the government offices. Police in riot gear attempted to disperse the crowd with batons, pepper spray and tear gas, but it has had the opposite effect: many Hong Kong inhabitants on seeing this use of violence, joined the protesters, occupying wider areas. Late in the night, in addition to Admiralty, there were occupations of Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, a part of Nathan Road, Mong Kok and Argyle Street.

This morning, commuters had to find alternative routes. Over 200 buses were canceled; the tram service suspended, some subway stations were closed.

Many banks, at least 17, based in Central are closed until further notice. The meetings at the Legco (Hong Kong parliament) are suspended.

All schools in the city center are closed because the teachers' union - which has 90 thousand members - decided to go on strike for a "real universal suffrage" and until the chief executive Leung Chun-ying steps down.

Trade unionists, politicians, ordinary people were shocked by the violence used by police against unarmed students and peaceful demonstrators.

The Hong Kong authorities have condemned the demonstrations as illegal, and are demanding their dissolution. Occupy Central is now also seeking Leung's resignation for having manipulated information passed to Beijing on the desire for democracy in the region and for not wanting to meet with students on strike last week, indirectly fuelling police violence.

Xinhua e Global Times, il giornale vicino al Quotidiano del popolo, più che dare una cronaca degli avvenimenti, riportano giudizi dell'esecutivo di Hong Kong e la posizione della Cina, accusando di "illegalità" il movimento di Occupy Central che "mette in crisi l'immagine internazionale di Hong Kong, presentando al mondo un'immagine turbolenta della città".

Images and news reports on the events in Hong Kong are spreading through social networks to China. Some of these, such as Instagram, which posts pictures, seems to have been blocked.

Xinhua and the Global Times, a newspaper close to the People's Daily, rather than reporting on  events on the ground have simply republished the statements of Hong Kong's Executive and China response in claiming that the Occupy Central movement is "illegal" and "undermines the international image of Hong Kong, presenting a turbulent image of the city to the world ".

But public opinion in Hong Kong is the exact opposite. Anson Chan, former secretary general of the executive, said: "This is a sad day for Hong Kong. Images of police throwing tear gas and pepper spray in the face of unarmed demonstrators shames our government in front of the whole world".

 

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