Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, at the press conference today (October 9):
Still we see traffic congestion in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon as road blockage goes on. It not only paralyses traffic in the business district, but its effect has spread to the local streets. It results in excessive inconvenience to the commuters. They have to start their journey early, and have to spend a lot of extra time on travelling.
Yesterday, representatives from relevant government departments, schools, logistics industry, as well as District Councilors, went to Queensway respectively. They explained to the protestors the extensive impact that road blockage had brought to the daily lives of the local residents and income of the drivers. They all urged them to remove the obstacles and to reduce the areas occupied, so as to allow traffic to resume.
I regret that they refused to listen to the advice. Indeed, they are making their voice heard at the expense of the rights of other members of the public to carry on with their normal daily lives.
Police have the lawful duties to ensure public order and public safety and to resume traffic flow. We will continue to execute our duties impartially, including the collection of evidence and investigation, against anyone who is in breach of the laws of Hong Kong. These are not only our duties, but also our responsibilities to the public.
The Hong Kong Bar Association issued a statement yesterday. It stated that: ˇ§it is essential for participants to respect the rights and freedoms of other people who do not necessarily agree with their views and not to cause excessive damage or inconvenience. They should also be ready to accept the criminal consequences of their conductˇ¨.
In Mong Kok, there are beds and mattresses besides the makeshift shelters at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street. It seems that some protestors are prepared to continue to occupy the area for a prolonged period. The grave impact of the road blockage has escalated the tension between the protestors and the local community. It increases the risk of confrontation. And Mong Kok remains a ˇ§high-riskˇ¨ area.
The large obstacles, and the makeshift shelters, have also hindered the delivery of emergency services. Protestors should remove the obstacles as soon as possible.
Police will continue to closely monitor the situation. We will take appropriate actions depending on the prevailing circumstances.
We will continue to discharge our duties in a fair and impartial manner, and we will not tolerate any acts of violence.
Ends/Thursday, October 9, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:00