Riot po­lice move in

Hong Kong au­thor­i­ties clash with pro­test­ers at univer­sity

Mercury (Hobart) - - WORLD -

PO­LICE yes­ter­day breached a Hong Kong univer­sity cam­pus held by pro­test­ers af­ter an all-night siege that in­cluded fir­ing re­peated bar­rages of tear gas and wa­ter can­nons.

Anti-govern­ment pro­test­ers had bar­ri­caded them­selves in­side Hong Kong Polytech­nic Univer­sity for days.

Po­lice sur­rounded the area on Sun­day night and be­gan mov­ing in af­ter is­su­ing an ul­ti­ma­tum for peo­ple to leave the area. The crowd wore rain­coats and car­ried um­brel­las to shield them­selves.

Riot of­fi­cers broke in one en­trance be­fore dawn as fires raged in­side and out­side the school, but they didn’t ap­pear to get very far.

Fiery ex­plo­sions could be seen as pro­test­ers re­sponded with petrol bombs.

Po­lice, who have warned that ev­ery­one in the area could be charged with ri­ot­ing, re­port­edly made a hand­ful of ar­rests.

At day­break yes­ter­day, pro­test­ers re­mained in con­trol of most of the cam­pus.

The pres­i­dent of the univer­sity said in a video mes­sage that po­lice had agreed to sus­pend their use of force.

Jin-Guang Teng said po­lice would al­low pro­test­ers to leave and he would ac­com­pany them to the po­lice sta­tion to en­sure their cases would be pro­cessed fairly.

“I hope that you will ac­cept the pro­posed tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of force and leave the cam­pus in a peace­ful man­ner,” he said.

It seemed un­likely the pro­test­ers would ac­cept the of­fer given they would all likely be ar­rested. A few hun­dred streamed out of the cam­pus about 8.15am in an ap­par­ent bid to es­cape, but they were driven back by po­lice tear gas.

Some wear­ing gas masks calmly picked up smok­ing tear gas can­is­ters and dropped them into heavy­duty bags, but the pro­test­ers de­cided to re­treat with a pha­lanx of of­fi­cers lined up across the road in the dis­tance.

On Sun­day, pro­test­ers used bows and ar­rows, and one ar­row struck a me­dia li­ai­son of­fi­cer in the calf. Pho­tos on the de­part­ment’s Face­book page show the ar­row stick­ing out of the back of the of­fi­cer’s leg.

As riot po­lice moved in from all sides, some pro­test­ers re­treated in­side the univer­sity. Oth­ers set fires on bridges lead­ing to it.

A huge blaze burned along much of a long foot­bridge that con­nects a train sta­tion to the cam­pus over the ap­proach to the Cross-Har­bour Tun­nel, a ma­jor road un­der Hong Kong’s har­bour that has been blocked by pro­test­ers for days.

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