Hong Kong police have cleared the Occupy protest site in Causeway Bay and the demonstration zone at the Legislative Council building, putting an official end to the street occupation that began on September 28.
All the traffic lanes, including those for trams and buses, on Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay were reopened as of 1 pm Monday after the police spent three hours removing tents and other blockades set up by protesters.
Seventeen people — 14 men and three women — staged a sit-in and were arrested by the police during the street clearance operation, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
At least five of them had been arrested in a similar police action in Admiralty last Thursday. The group is said to include Civic Party legislator Kenneth Chan; Chan Kok-hin, a core member of the Hong Kong Federation of Students; and Wang Denyao, a mainlander who had taken part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing.
There was also a 90-year-old man, bearing the surname Wong, who had been a regular fixture at the main protest site in Admiralty during the occupation period.
One of the 17 people was granted bail, while the other 16 refused bail but were still released.
After successfully clearing the protest site in Causeway Bay, the police turned to the last occupied place besides the legislature at 3 pm after Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang announced the clearance move. The police spent about 50 minutes completing the job with no serious resistance from protesters and no arrests.
The protesters moved their tents and supplies to the sidewalks on Tim Mei Avenue.
Tsang said the demonstration zone will be closed partially and spruced up following the clearance action. He hopes it can be reopened before the legislature resumes its regular session on January 7.
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