HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s leader said Monday that pro-democracy protests were “in vain” after police used pepper spray and batons on students trying to storm government headquarters overnight, in some of the worst violence since the rallies began.
With the protests now into their third month and frustrations mounting, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying hinted that further police action may be imminent, in his most forceful comments in recent weeks.
“I have pointed out before that Occupy Central is not only illegal but it will also be in vain,” Leung said, describing the continued protests as “intolerable.”
Hong Kong’s government headquarters and legislature were closed on Monday morning after a night of clashes in which scores of pro-democracy protesters and police officers were injured and at least 40 people were arrested. Eleven officers were injured, a spokesman said. Authorities said a total of 37 people received hospital treatment.
“Now the [public]demand for police clearance is increasing. From now on, police will enforce the law without hesitation,” Leung told reporters.