Hong Kong Occupy Central Protest 2014: Police Remove Reinforced Barricades At Queensway

Police have reportedly started removing reinforced barricades at the Occupy Central protests in Queensway, Hong Kong. Twitter users flocked to the social media site to share pictures and comments about authorities removing tents and barricades, which once yielded shelter for participants of the “Umbrella Revolution.”

Although their blockades were removed, some protesters reportedly remained and peacefully sat in the shade.

It’s not the first time police have taken down the barriers. Early on Monday, officials began to remove the barricades, but protesters reinforced their surroundings with bamboo poles, garbage cans, bus stop signs, and office items like potted plants and carpet, the New York Times reported. It reportedly took police half the time to dismantle the Queensway barricade than it took the protesters to create them, one Twitter user shared.

For some, the day’s action showed having free-flowing traffic is more important than free public assembly.

Before hundreds of police tore down the reinforced barriers, a member of the student-led protest took a break from work to help secure the bamboo barricade.

“This is to protect our democracy, to protect our future,” Patrick Chan, an accountant, told the New York Times. “The government doesn’t listen to the Hong Kong people, so we must do this,” he said. 

“Before, the street barriers were just symbolic, but the ones going up now are something else,” a different protester told the Times. “People are showing their distrust of the government.”

The official demolition of the reinforced blockades comes two weeks after authorities used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters. However, people reportedly continued to assemble relatively peacefully.

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Rob Cesternino

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