Hong Kong student leader Alex Chow shed a tear as police cleared the main site of the so-called umbrella protest in the Admiralty district.
Chow said the fight was not over as he was led away by police.
This area of the Chinese-controlled city is getting back to normal after more than two months of protests choked its streets.
Demonstrators want freedom to choose their next leader. But China insists only pre-screened candidates can stand for election.
Ngai Tsui-kuen, who works as a courier, seemed happier that travelling around the city is easier but, she said, “I also feel very unfortunate that we can’t argue with the government.”
But one kilometre up the road under the Central Government Offices protesters remained defiant.
One man calling himself “Mr. Happy Hour” said he had been there for 76 days.
“I think they will not move us because this area is for the people to tell something to the
government. So I think they do not move us, not like the street,” he said.
As protesters here remain peaceful but unbowed this camp could become the new focal point for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
The protests drew well over 100,000 at their peak as students vented their anger at Beijing’s refusal to budge on electoral reforms.
The mainly peaceful protests have represented one of the most serious challenges to China’s authority since the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations and bloody crackdown in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.