Admiralty is returning to normal, with vehicular traffic restored in a key artery, after 75 days of street occupation by protesters.
Hong Kong police took less than a day to clear the main protest site in a largely uneventful operation Thursday, hauling away dozens who refused to leave voluntarily.
In all, 247 people were arrested including Alex Chow, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), and 15 pan-democrat lawmakers, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
Joshua Wong, convenor of student activist group Scholarism, and HKFS deputy secretary general Lester Shum were nowhere to be found.
Also arrested were Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee, Civic Party’s Audrey Eu, Apple Daily boss Jimmy Lai and pop-singer Denise Ho.
They were booked for participating in unlawful assemblies and obstruction.
All were released Friday morning without being charged, according to public broadcaster RTHK.
By Thursday night, Harcourt Road was reopened just hours after the protest site was locked down while thousands of policemen dismantled barriers and makeshift camps.
The Admiralty clearance, carried out under a High Court injunction, came in stark contrast to a similar police operation in Mong Kok in November which was marred by violent clashes.
More than 200 local and foreign news organizations and a police watchdog monitored the Admiralty clear-out.
A police spokesperson confirmed there had been no untoward incidents.
Officials warned the protesters against re-occupying the area, saying any such move will bring legal consequences.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said the Admiralty operation was transparent and and left no room for any misunderstanding or unfounded accusations.
Police assistant commissioner Cheung Tak-keung said 909 people left voluntarily after giving their ID card details.
He said clearing of the Causeway Bay protest site could come any time soon and urged protesters to leave before it happens.
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