Clashes shorten Hong Kong concentration while police officers are attacked | News

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<pre><pre>Clashes shorten Hong Kong concentration while police officers are attacked | News

Clashes between protesters and police have erupted in Hong Kong, interrupting a demonstration after thousands gathered in a park to demand greater democratic freedoms in the city ruled by China.

Riot police launched tear gas against protesters on Sunday and arrested several people near the park, known as Chater Garden, after some protesters attacked civilian-dressed officers.

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The authorities had allowed the concentration as long as the participants stayed in one place. The police warned that they would stop anyone trying to leave.

Protesters spilled on the streets, swear black clothes and facial masks of their movement. SSome closed the roads with umbrellas and street furniture, removed bricks from the pavement and broke the traffic lights.

Two police officers were attacked with wooden sticks and suffered head injuries, forcing police to sweep the area and shoot tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Ventus Lau, the rally organizer, was arrested for allegedly violating the police condition for the rally.

A woman cries while begging the police not to hit a man while the police detain protesters in Hong Kong (Ng Han Guan / AP)

"Hong Kong free!"

Earlier, protesters gathered in Chater Garden, located near the city's Legislative Council building, with signs that read: "Hong Kong Free."

They sang "we want real universal suffrage,quot; and "dissolve the police force." Some waved American, British and Hong Kong independence flags.

The frequency and ferocity of Hong Kong's protests have declined in the last month, but there are signs of political unrest everywhere, from graffiti on the walls to huge fences surrounding government buildings.

In a seemingly new tactic, the police have appeared in anticipation in riot gear, with officers conducting "arrest and search,quot; operations near the expected demonstrations.

"Everyone understands that there is a risk of detention and search or mass arrests. I appreciate that the people of Hong Kong still go out bravely, despite the risk," Lau said before being arrested.

Hong Kong's protests have lasted for seven months after being provoked by a proposal now abandoned to allow extraditions to authoritarian mainland China, where the opaque legal system responds to the ruling Communist Party.

They soon became a wider movement calling for greater freedoms in what is the most concerted challenge for the Beijing government since the delivery of the former British colony in 1997.

Swat police corner the protesters calling for electoral reforms and a boycott of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong,

Clashes broke out between protesters and police after protesters marched in defiance of a ban (Ng Han Guan / AP)

Critics accuse the Hong Kong police of using excessive force, without any police officer being disciplined or punished in the last seven months of protests.

Police say they have used force according to the levels of violence they face from unconditional protesters who throw bricks and gasoline bombs routinely.

Among the key demands of the protest movement is an independent investigation into the police, an amnesty for 7,000 people arrested and totally free elections.

Beijing and local leader Carrie Lam have rejected more concessions and defended police tactics.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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