HONG KONG’S main thoroughfare to the heart of the financial district was finally opened late last Thursday night, drawing to an end 75 days of Occupy Central (佔領中環).
A total of 209 protesters were arrested during the clearance of the main Occupy Central protest zone in Admiralty (金鐘), which lasted over 12 hours. But defiant protest leaders warned: “We will come back.”
The westbound lanes of Harcourt Road (夏.道) were opened shortly after 9pm, with the entire multi-lane highway reopening by 10.45pm.
A police sergeant was admitted to the intensive care unit of Ruttonjee Hospital (律敦治醫院) in critical condition after fainting while taking a break.
In the early morning, thousands of police – armed with helmets, shields, batons, pepper spray and with mobile platforms at the ready – were deployed from various points to begin the clearance of the multi-lane Connaught Road (干諾道)-Harcourt Road-Gloucester Road (告士打道) stretch.
Most activists left the protest zone before police began the clearance. Defiant students and pan-democrats said it was not the end of the movement but the start of a new phase aimed at genuine universal suffrage.
About 100 activists, student leaders and pan-democrats positioned themselves on the corner of Harcourt Road and Tim Wa Avenue (添華道) before the clearance began.
The Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣) protest site was cleared on Monday.
(The Standard, 12 December 2014)