Date
21 August 2017
Protesters, with the help of construction workers, build scaffoldings on the road to reinforce their barricades. Photo: AFP
Protesters, with the help of construction workers, build scaffoldings on the road to reinforce their barricades. Photo: AFP

Protesters beef up barricades as police start reopening streets

Pro-democracy protesters have reinforced their barricades with bamboo scaffoldings and cement blocks amid efforts by police to end their street occupations, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Protesters lined up what they called “cement buckets” on Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay after police announced they would remove the obstacles and allow vehicles to use the thoroughfares.

In a statement Monday night, police warned that using bamboo scaffoldings and cement blockades could cause injury to people, adding that such barricades were difficult to move for emergency vehicles to pass by.

After the police operation on Monday morning, a group of masked men swooped down on occupied streets in Admiralty to clear out the road blocks in the afternoon, the report said. They also brought a crane to remove the barricades.

But the protesters, with the help of a group of construction workers, constructed bamboo scaffoldings to beef up their barricades. They also deployed rubbish cans, bus stop stands and water barriers.

Chief Superintendent Hui Chun-tak of the Hong Kong police’s public relations branch, said the police would remove obstacles on Yee Wo Street and Queensway in Admiralty to allow vehicular traffic to resume in the two areas.

At least seven road sections have been reopened after police removed obstacles in 27 locations, Hui said.

Student leader Joshua Wong said police were apparently testing the protesters’ response, in preparation for clearing operations of a bigger scale.

Wong said police have an obligation to let the public know of their operations before conducting them, while protestors should behave rationally and peacefully.

People Power Party member and legislator Albert Chan agreed that the police were testing the waters for more massive clearing operations. Anti-Occupy groups have warned that they will clear the protest sites by Wednesday.

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EL/AC/CG

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