Police remove barricades at second Hong Kong protest site

HONG KONG, Oct 14:  Dozens of police removed barricades from a second Hong Kong protest site today, a day after a similar attempt at the city’s main occupied area largely backfired as demonstrators rebuilt and reinforced their defences.
Around 150 police officers took away the metal barricades in the bustling Causeway Bay shopping district shortly before dawn, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
Protesters said the police operation began shortly after 5:00 am (2100 GMT), and that officers told demonstrators they were allowed to stay but needed to vacate one of the main roads they were occupying.
“They just said the cars are going to come later and that they’re not trying to remove us. They’ve said we can stay. We have to be calm, we’ve got about 15 people and there are more than 100 cops here,” Billy Lee, a 36-year-old protester manning one of the barricades, told AFP.
Causeway Bay, a district packed with luxury stores popular with tourists from mainland China, has become the scene for a major protest camp for more than two weeks.
Demonstrators set up camp over a major east-west thoroughfare which usually carries buses, cars and trams, disrupting traffic and angering many locals who said business was being affected.
The police removal operation appeared to target a single lane of traffic heading west into the city centre. The tram lines and main routes heading east were still being held by protesters.
Police had started moving in to clear barriers at the edges of the main protest site in Admiralty yetserday, catching some demonstrators unawares after their numbers had dwindled overnight.
Activists laid down cement foundations and built up bamboo pole barricades blocking both lanes of a highway, using everything from steel chains to plastic ties and sticky tape to strengthen the structures, even enlisting sympathetic construction workers for help with their building work. (AGENCIES)


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