Opponents try to break up protests in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay

October 03, 2014 19:25
Residents opposed to the Occupy campaign confront protesters on Nathan Road in Mong Kok on Friday. Photo: HKEJ

Scuffles broke out in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay between protesters and residents opposed to their Occupy campaign, RTHK reported Friday.

Hundreds of anti-Occupy residents gathered at subway exits on Nathan Road in Mong Kok, shouting angrily at demonstrators who were sitting peacefully on the street, the report said. 

About a dozen men in their 60s called the protesters “American stooges” and accused them of getting paid for occupying the street outside the MTR station. They said the protests had been disrupting vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.

Police were sent to the scene and formed a single file to separate the protesters from the residents confronting them. Police officers urged both sides to keep calm and restrain themselves, the report said.

According to witnesses, an old woman climbed up a lamp post to tear down posters put up by the demonstrators, while a middle-aged woman tried to tear down the tents on the scene.

A man reportedly tried to remove barriers on the Argyle Street in Mong Kok early in the morning.

Similar scenes occurred simultaneously in Causeway Bay, prompting many demonstrators to suspect that the scuffles might have been planned by pro-Beijing groups.

Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting urged protesters to leave the scene for the sake of their personal safety and suggested to join the protests in Admiralty.

Police were standing by at the scene and escorting Occupy campaign participants who were trying to leave.

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Freelance journalist