HONG KONG: Dozens of police removed barricades from a second Hong Kong protest site on Tuesday, a day after a similar attempt at the city’s main occupied area largely backfired as demonstrators rebuilt and reinforced their defences.
Around 150 police officers took away metal barricades in the bustling Causeway Bay shopping district shortly before dawn, according to an Agence France-Presse journalist at the scene.
But the police only appeared to be targeting a single lane of traffic heading west into the city centre, telling demonstrators holding the tram lines and main routes heading east that they could stay put.
Demonstrators said the police operation began shortly after 5:00 am (2100 GMT).
“They just said the cars are going to come later and that they’re not trying to remove us. They’ve said we can stay. We have to be calm, we’ve got about 15 people and there are more than 100 cops here,” Billy Lee, a 36-year-old protester manning one of the barricades, told Agence France-Presse.
Police had launched a similar operation on Monday, moving in to clear barriers at the edges of the main protest site in Admiralty, but protesters there swiftly regrouped.