23 February 2019
Pro-democracy activists occupy a major thoroughfare in one of the protest sites. Photo: Facebook
Pro-democracy activists occupy a major thoroughfare in one of the protest sites. Photo: Facebook

Protests spread to more districts; CY Leung told to step down

Protesters continued to gather at key downtown areas in Hong Kong on Monday after enduring another sleepless and chaotic night of clashes with the police.

Defiant protesters occupied major streets in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok in the afternoon, RTHK reported. The government said riot police have been withdrawn and told the protesters to disperse peacefully as soon as possible.

As people gathered at Yee Woo Street in Causeway Bay, a senior police officer arrived at the scene around noon and told the crowd not to obstruct road traffic.

“We respect that the protesters have the freedom to express their views, and believe that their voices have already been heard,” the officer said.

“But protesters should not obstruct road traffic and shift to the footpath.” 

Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the intersection of Nathan Road and Argyle Street in Mong Kok, the report said. They put up a tent in the middle of the road to allow the protesters to take a rest. Some were distributing supplies including bread and water.

In Admiralty, activists continued to occupy Harcourt Road. They sat on the street with others using loudspeakers to shout slogans and make speeches. Meanwhile, police in the area had taken off their helmets, shields and guns, the report said.

Negotiators sent by the police arrived at the scene in the afternoon to try to persuade the crowd to leave and stop obstructing traffic, but the protesters demanded to talk to Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung.

Crowds continued to gather in Central and extend the road block to the entrance of the Mandarin Hotel.

Civic Party leader and lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit assailed the police for using tear gas on the protesters, saying it was unnecessary.

The activists said would convene an emergency meeting to launch an impeachment motion against Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

“The government should withdraw all riot police as soon as possible and everyone should discuss this in a peaceful manner. Hong Kong people should adhere to sensible ways to protest as there are lots of painful violent movements worldwide,” said Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing.

However, Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labor Party demanded that CY Leung step down and Beijing to withdraw its decision on electoral reform for the 2017 chief executive election.

“Otherwise, the fight for democracy won’t stop,” Lee said.

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Freelance journalist

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