10/13/2014, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Police clear some Occupy barricades. Leung: Nothing will change Beijing’s mind

by Paul Wang
Students assaulted in Monk Kok by masked people. The police want to open passages for traffic, but claim they do not want to end the sit-in. Students still present in Admiralty, Mong Kok, Causeway Bay. Growing criticism of Occupy because of the difficulties in traffic and work. Leung does not exclude the use of force to clear the streets.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Police have launched a number of steps to move the Occupy barricades in the area of Admiralty and Mong Kok. A spokesman said that the police do not want to end the demonstrations, but only ease the traffic in the two areas, the financial and the trade hub, which have been blocked for nearly two weeks.

The protesters took to the streets in a permanent sit-in to demand full democracy for the territory, with universal suffrage in elections of the Chief Executive. Beijing has already determined that all the people of Hong Kong will be able to vote, but it wants to control the selection and the number of candidates.

This morning, clearing the barricades, the police did not use violence, even though they were armed with tear gas bombs. The police intervened in Mong Kok, where some groups who were masked and armed with knives attacked the demonstrators. The attack is similar to one that took place about a week ago carried out by a mob infiltrated by the Chinese mafia. About one hundred students are still in Admiralty; about 50 in Mong Kok; twenty in Causeway Bay.

The occupation of these central areas has blocked traffic, work, schools. The reopening of some lanes today will go some way to reducing tension. Many people who supported the beginning of the Occupy movement, now want the sit-in to end and for protesters to find new ways to fight. Others - such as taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, shopkeepers - explicitly express their opposition.

Card. Joseph Zen also believes it would be more beneficial to end the occupation of the city center at this point and find other methods to continue the fight now that the entire population has been sensitized to the value of democracy.

The margins of maneuver are very tight. The protesters of Occupy have asked countless times for the resignation of the chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, incapable of representing the wishes of the people and held responsible for the police attacks on defenseless students.

After stopping the dialogue with the students last week, Leung said yesterday that he will not resign and that Beijing will not change its mind on the method of election. In addition, he has not ruled out the use of force towards the protesters. "We've resorted to all kinds of persuasions - he said -... We absolutely would not prefer clearing the venue, but if one day the venue has to be cleared, I believe the police will use their professional judgment and training using minimum amount of force".

 

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