19 January 2019
Police remove the steel barricades blocking the roads occupied by the protesters on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
Police remove the steel barricades blocking the roads occupied by the protesters on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong police dismantle barricades in protest sites

Armed with chainsaws and bolt cutters, police dismantled barricades and tents in Causeway Bay and Admiralty on Tuesday as teary-eyed protesters looked on.

Scores of auxiliary police officers marched to the Causeway Bay protest sites and methodically dismantled the road blocks early Tuesday morning, RTHK reported Tuesday. They used chainsaws and sledgehammers to remove the various items put up by the protesters to block the streets.

In Admiralty, around 300 officers swept through the occupied streets around 10 a.m. and used saws and cutters to remove the barricades. They did not face any resistance from the protesters, the report said.

The police had repeatedly told protesters in recent days to leave the streets in order to restore public order and allow emergency vehicles to pass through.

Police announced that they would start dismantling the barricades at several protest sites and warned that those obstructing them from carrying out their duties may be removed with “the lowest level of violence” or could be detained.

However, the protesters vowed to reinforce their defenses after clashes with groups against the Occupy campaign on Monday.

The Transport Department said that Queensway was fully open and traffic started to flow for the first time in two weeks, along with all Admiralty-bound lanes of Des Voeux Road Central between Pedder Street and Queensway.

More police officers will be deployed to patrol the streets to prevent the protesters from rebuilding their barricades, according to Senior Superintendent Kong Man-keung of the police public relations branch.

“Streets occupied by protesters have affected traffic for emergency vehicles and public security. Therefore, the police has to take action to improve the traffic to reduce the adverse impact on citizens,” Kong said.

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Freelance journalist

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