HK sees some of worst violence since protests began

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By Dennis Chong ,AFP

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, in some of the worst violence since the rallies began. With the student-led 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.�� ��Now the (public) demand for police clearance is increasing. From now on, police will enforce the law without hesitation,�� he told reporters. On Monday afternoon the high court granted an injunction ordering the clearance of several parts of the major protest site in Admiralty district, according to bus operator Kwoon Chung, which made the application. It approved the removal of ��obstructions�� to traffic on and around stretches of Harcourt Road, a multi-lane highway through the heart of the financial district currently blocked by barricades and hundreds of tents.

Police have previously waited for such injunctions before moving in to clear roads. The government offices in Admiralty were closed on Monday morning and the city’s legislature suspended after protesters broke through police lines and occupied a major road outside the complex overnight. After a night and morning of intermittent violence student leader Alex Chow told reporters that democracy groups would discuss the way forward for the movement in the coming few days �X ��whether to advance or retreat.�� Protesters began staging mass sit-ins on major roads in three districts on September 28, demanding free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city in 2017. China’s communist authorities insist candidates for the election must be vetted by a loyalist committee, which the protesters say will ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.