She was twisting a small thin piece of copper into an umbrella on the MTR while trying to decide about going to Mong Kok, She was alone, and feared for her safety if she went. In the end she didn’t go.
During the past 59 days, Mong Kok has been at the centre of many violent clashes between pro-establishment and pro-democracy groups. Earlier in the day, the police were assisting court bailiffs, acting on a recent court order, to clear a portion of the area. The SCMP reported over 7,000 police officers were split into two shifts. They also reported police using pepper spray, tear spray and batons to help clear the areas.
Police officers, in helmets and protective gear, were split into three and sometimes four fronts facing angry protesters wearing goggles and make-shift protective gear. The crowd would yell insults. The police would give warnings to crowds to stand back or they would use force. The police would also giving warnings to their brethren asking them to remain calm and keep control of themselves.
The police would then push forward using their shields to push. They would converge on one or two people, force them to the ground, use plastic zip ties to handcuff them, then take them away. When this was happening, flashes of cameras would capture everything. The crowd would run to a safe distance. Then stop regroup and head back to the police line. Eighty people were detained over the night.
Mong Kok, which means ‘crowded corner’ is one of the most congested and busiest places in the world according to the Guinness World Records. The area is filled with older buildings mixed with shopping and living spaces. Small narrow streets and alleyways feed the area making trying to control the area difficult.
During times of calm between the protesters and police, people would yell obscenities to the police from the apartments above the street along from the crowd in front of them. Representatives from the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor were observing the police actions along with video cameras from the police as well as the many members of the press.
The clashes between the police and protesters lasted throughout the night. It was reported, the police will attempt to clear the larger sections of Mong Kok today but I doubt it. Based on what was seen last night, the police clear an area, the protesters just take over another area. It continues and regardless how many police officers are used, they can’t arrest everyone. I would doubt the area would be cleared today.
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