Resignation as Hong Kong clears main pro-democracy protest siteComments
Only a small group of several dozen demonstrators remained after the authorities in Hong Kong moved in to clear the principal protest site.
Hundreds of police stood by as workers removed barricades, following a court injunction.
The mood was largely one of resignation, but there was also defiance from students whose street demonstrations have choked parts of the Chinese-controlled city for more than two months.
Some demonstrators who resisted were arrested by police following warnings for them to disperse.
Others chanted “we will be back”.
“The government and those in power would be able to clear our roads and streets, but they could not win the hearts of Hong Kong people especially the next two generations of up and coming young men and women who are the driving force behind the umbrella movement,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Alan Leong.
Many protesters packed up belongings from inside their tents at the Admiralty district next to government buildings and the Central business area.
The clearance came two weeks after the authorities broke up a separate site in the working-class district of Mong Kok, across the harbour, sparking several nights of running battles between demonstrators and police.
The protests in the former British colony have been one of the most serious challenges to China’s authority since the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations were brutally repressed.
At their peak, tens of thousands took part but recently the number has declined sharply.
The protesters made little headway in their demand for open candidates in elections for Hong Kong’s leadership in 2017.
Beijing stood firm, insisting on vetting them.