Following is the English translation of the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at a media session today (October 18):
Secretary for Security: Police conducted an operation to remove the obstacles in Mong Kok early yesterday morning. Most of the occupied main roads in the district were re-opened after the large obstacles set up by protesters of an unlawful assembly were removed. Meanwhile, Police allowed those refused to leave to gather at a section of southbound section of Nathan Road. The removal of obstacles had enabled the partial resumption of traffic flow, commercial activities and livelihood of people in the district. The professional operation of the Police was welcomed and supported by the public.
However, some illegal road occupiers were found gathering in Mong Kok yesterday afternoon again. A number of persons who are known for provoking violent acts against the Police were found advocating on the Internet to stage another unlawful assembly and road blockage in Mong Kok.
People illegally occupying the roads gradually increased in the evening. Some leading radical protesters were seen provoking police officers at various spots by charging police cordon lines deliberately, purposely and repeatedly. They blocked the roads with mills barriers and other obstacles. When police officers were making arrests, the protesters even obstructed the departure of police vehicles and officers. This was not a peaceful demonstration. In fact, this caused chaos and dangers and had caused serious threats to public safety and obstructed the traffic. I strongly condemn these violent acts which disrupted social order and breached the law.
I note that the confrontation last night was initiated by some activists of known radical organisations which have been active in conspiring, planning and charging violent acts. What they did last night has undoubtedly violated the law and public order. I noticed that many people and community members have condemned these violent acts.
I believe that members of the public do not want to see the chaos brought by the unlawful assemblies, road blockages and charging activities which happened last night. I strongly appeal to all protesters to disperse peacefully as soon as possible. I also call on the public to avoid going to Mong Kok and other areas where unlawful assemblies are being held.
Ends/Saturday, October 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:04