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Police urge the public not to block the roads again (with photos)

     Police stress that Mong Kok remains a high risk area. Although Argyle Street, south and north bounds of Nathan Road and other roads in the proximity are now re-opened, in the past few nights, there were still large groups of troublemakers gathering in Mong Kok, provoking others here and there and attempting to block the roads again. Their acts caused great nuisances and adverse impacts on the local residents and business operators. They even charged the police lines. Further confrontations can be sparked off any time.

     Police urge members of the public, particularly students, to avoid going to the area at night. They should also stay away from the radicals and troublemakers, and not to be used or incited to commit illegal acts, so as to avoid unnecessary injuries. Residents and business operators nearby should be vigilant of their personal safety and prevent themselves from getting injured.

     Police have deployed appropriate manpower in Mong Kok to maintain public order and prevent blockage of roads which have been re-opened or other sections of roads. Police are duty bound to maintain public order and protect public safety through exercising the legal powers conferred by the laws of Hong Kong.

     Police condemned the acts of protesters who illegally assembled in Mong Kok, blocked the roads and severely endangered public order and public safety last night (November 28) and in the small hours this morning (November 29).

     Starting from 7 pm last evening, there were large groups of protesters illegally assembling at Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Shantung Street. The unlawful assembly was later extended to Soy Street, Sai Yee Street, Nelson Street, Dundas Street, Fa Yuen Street, and even as far as the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier.  Police issued multiple advice and warnings through public announcements and display of warning banners, urging them to leave. However, they refused to comply, but dispersed into groups and continued to loiter around the area. They put up excuses, such as shopping, waiting for buses, picking up dropped money, etc., with the intent to block the roads. They crossed the roads slowly with an attempt to interfere with the traffic and jeopardise public order. Some protesters placed large objects such as rubbish bins and recycling bins in an attempt to block the roads, including the section of Dundas Street between Fa Yuen Street and Nathan Road. There were also troublemakers using different ways to disturb the shops nearby, including blocking the goldsmith shops, or interfering with their normal operation together. Some radicals and troublemakers even intentionally threw miscellaneous items such as water bottles, umbrellas, eggs and tin cans at police officers. Police had immediately made public announcement to urge them to stop these highly irresponsible and dangerous behaviours because the hard objects thrown might hurt other persons at scene including the reporters working there and pedestrians walking by. However, they took no heed.

     During mid-night, when a vehicle was entering Argyle Street from Sai Yeung Choi Street South, some radical protesters dashed onto the roads to create chaos. Some troublemakers deliberately merged themselves into the crowd, incited others to provoke and verbally abused the police officers there, and to charge police lines, creating chaos intentionally to obstruct the police enforcement actions. To prevent the situation from worsening, with no other alternatives, Police took resolute actions and used minimum level of force, including pepper spray and baton, to stop these illegal acts, and to disperse and arrest those involved.

     From last night to 4 pm today, Police arrested 27 males and one female, aged between 16 and 52, in Mong Kok for offences including "Unlawful Assembly", "Assaulting Police", "Possession of Offensive Weapons", "Possession of Instrument Fit for Unlawful Purpose", "Obstructing Police Officer", "Possession of Part I Poison", "Disorderly Conduct in Public Place", etc. During the operation, eight police officers were injured on the face and limbs, of whom two were hit by hard objects thrown by protesters. Besides, two police motorcycles parked in Sai Yeung Choi Street South were intentionally tampered by protesters, causing damages to the foglight, antenna, beacon, rear-mirror and radio. These serious unlawful acts were classified as a case of ¡¥Criminal Damage¡¦ which is being investigated by Mong Kok District Investigation Team.

     Police note that certain student organisations called upon members of the public to bring along different supplies and equipment to assemble at the illegally occupied areas in Admiralty tomorrow (October 30) and proclaimed to escalate their actions. Police stress that the gathering in Admiralty is an unlawful assembly, and the occupation and blockage of roads are illegal. The acts of the illegal road occupiers have disrupted public order of Hong Kong, and incessantly eroded the foundation of the rule of law. Police are regretful that these organisations continue to foment members of the public to commit illegal acts. The general public will not accept these acts. Police urge the illegal road occupiers to cease their illegal acts and leave the occupied roads immediately.

     Police also urge reporters working on ground to be vigilant of their personal safety, particularly when they position themselves between police officers and radical protesters, or within close range from them, so as to avoid injuries as a result of the confrontations. Police have also deployed Media Liaison Teams to facilitate their work on ground and provide assistance to any reporters as necessary.

Ends/Saturday, November 29, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:08


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