Police have reportedly started removing reinforced barricades at the Occupy Central protests in Queensway, Hong Kong. Twitter users flocked to the social media site to share pictures and comments about authorities removing tents and barricades, which once yielded shelter for participants of the “Umbrella Revolution.”
— Roland Lim (@CNA_RolandLim) October 14, 2014
Although their blockades were removed, some protesters reportedly remained and peacefully sat in the shade.
— Josh Noble (@JoshTANoble) October 14, 2014
— Fion Li (@fion_li) October 14, 2014
It’s not the first time police have taken down the barriers. Early on Monday, officials began to remove the barricades, but protesters reinforced their surroundings with bamboo poles, garbage cans, bus stop signs, and office items like potted plants and carpet, the New York Times reported. It reportedly took police half the time to dismantle the Queensway barricade than it took the protesters to create them, one Twitter user shared.
— Rishi Iyengar (@iyengarrishi) October 14, 2014
For some, the day’s action showed having free-flowing traffic is more important than free public assembly.
Today's lesson from Hong Kong is that to the free movement of vehicular traffic is far more important than free public assembly #OccupyHK
— Christopher DeWolf (@dewolfleloup) October 14, 2014
Before hundreds of police tore down the reinforced barriers, a member of the student-led protest took a break from work to help secure the bamboo barricade.
“This is to protect our democracy, to protect our future,” Patrick Chan, an accountant, told the New York Times. “The government doesn’t listen to the Hong Kong people, so we must do this,” he said.
“Before, the street barriers were just symbolic, but the ones going up now are something else,” a different protester told the Times. “People are showing their distrust of the government.”
The official demolition of the reinforced blockades comes two weeks after authorities used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters. However, people reportedly continued to assemble relatively peacefully.
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