Police completed an operation to remove the illegal barriers in Mong Kok yesterday (October 17) morning and traffic was partially resumed. A designated public activity area was set up on the pavement outside No. 664 Nathan Road for protesters who refused to leave to express their views. However the protesters refused to use the public activity area and illegally assembled at the three southbound traffic lanes of Nathan Road between Argyle Street and Nelson Street and blocked the traffic there.
People illegally occupying the roads gradually increased yesterday evening. They attempted to further occupy the northbound lanes of Nathan Road by charging Police cordon lines and police officers were shoved onto the ground. Although Police gave repeated advice and warnings, including displaying warning banners, and used OC Foam and police batons to stop those acts that totally disregarded public safety and public order, the occupiers refused to comply. Police strongly condemned such illegal acts.
Up to now, Police arrested 26 persons in the operation, including 23 men and three women, aged between 21 and 52, for common assault, criminal damage, disorderly conduct in a public place, resisting arrest, obstructing police officers in due execution of their duties and possession of offensive weapon, etc.
Fifteen police officers were injured so far in the operation. They were poked with protesters¡¦ umbrellas, sustained arm dislocation or injuries to their heads, hands or shoulders.
Traffic in Mong Kok was seriously affected. A section of southbound lanes of Nathan Road between Argyle Street and Dundas Street and a section of northbound lanes of Nathan Road between Argyle Street and Hamilton Street were closed. In the light of the prevailing situation in the area, Police will take appropriate measures to minimise the impact on the public and other road users.
Police appeal to the people at the scene to stay calm and restraint and stop charging Police cordon lines and those acts that disregarded public safety and public order. They should leave the area as soon as possible. Other members of the public should beware of their personal safety and should not go to the vicinity of Argyle Street and Dundas Street.
Police reiterate that any acts endangering public order and public safety will not be tolerated. The Hong Kong community regard that we should express our views in a rational and peaceful manner. Police will take resolute enforcement action against any illegal acts.
Ends/Saturday, October 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:51