Hong Kong: Chief executive issues stark warning to pro-democracy protesters

CY Leung said police will take 'all action necessary' to ensure normal life resumes on Monday

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The Independent Online

Hong Kong’s leader has warned pro-democracy protesters that police will take “all actions necessary” to ensure “normal life” resumes on Monday.

Chief Executive CY Leung’s calls to protesters to quit their barricades and allow citizens to “resume their normal work and life” come as running street brawls led to the postponement of talks between the demonstration’s leaders and the government.

In a televised speech earlier today, Mr Leung said: "The government and the police have the responsibility and resolution to take all actions necessary to resume social order and let the government and all seven million citizens resume their normal work and life," the BBC reported.

Mr Leung said he “strongly condemned” the violence – but warned that it was likely to continue until the protests ended.

Yesterday unidentified mobs tore down barricades and assaulted individuals of the largely peaceful movement.

Amnesty International claimed Hong Kong police failed to act to protect the demonstrators, alleging women and girls were the targets of sexual assaults and intimidation.

Earlier today Hong Police announced they had arrested 19 individuals, eight of whom are believed to have organised crime backgrounds, or triads, in connection with the attack.

The attacks have fuelled fears the triads, some of whom are believed to have links with the political establishment having developed legitimate business ventures, were acting under the direction of the authorities.

"Such rumours linking us to 'black societies,' are utterly unfair," said Hong Kong's security chief, Lai Tung-kwok.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the groups leading the demonstrations, cancelled talks with the city’s authorities after the violent confrontations.

 

The New York Times reported that pro-protesters faced angry thugs last night, with 18 people injured in dangerous clashes which also saw six police officers hurt.

Intense scuffles erupted in the densely populated Mong Kok neighbourhood as a few dozen unidentified men shoved and punched protesters, pulling down barricades and collapsing tents.

It is also reported that some local residents had turned against the pro-democracy activists, heckling and throwing bottles at the demonstrators when they were attacked.

John Sudworth, a BBC journalist at the scene, reported angry residents believe the democracy campaign is now a futile fight that is harming their business.

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A local policeman scuffles with residents and pro-Beijing supporters as they try to attack a student pro-democracy activist in Kowloon's crowded Mong Kok district

The pro-protesters are angry at China for seeking to vet candidates to replace Hong Kong’s chief executive.

In the past Hong Kong has enjoyed a greater level of freedom than mainland China.

Activists have occupied the city for just over a week in a protest movement that has been dubbed the ‘Umbrella Revolution’, after many of the demonstrators were forced to shelter from the rain during the early days.

Beijing has thrown its full support behind Mr Leung, calling the protests illegal and "doomed to fail".

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