BLOG – Big Pictures: Occupy Admiralty’s Longest Night 1

Occupiers at the main Admiralty protest camp have been recovering, regrouping and resting following the dramatic events of Sunday evening.

After weeks of debate over whether to escalate the movement and occupy new areas, student leaders called upon protesters to surround government headquarters in order to paralyse its operations.

The plan was to remain until the movement’s demands for political reform were met.

Wearing protective helmets and masks, protesters faced police on Lung Wo Road opposite CY Leung’s office and at steps leading to the building from Tamar Park. Scuffles ensued on the front lines as demonstrators attempted to push through.

During the evening, protesters successfully broke police cordons twice, crossing Lung Wo Road at the rear of government headquarters and pouring into a four-lane underpass.

Protesters faced pepper spray, water hose, tactical officers with batons and the police dog unit.

Meanwhile, injured protesters at the Tamar Park exit were treated at a makeshift first aid centre near to the front line clashes.

Barricades were dragged through the tunnels to the front lines

The barricades were then locked in place with hundreds of cable ties.

Umbrellas and protective gear were thrown down to protesters on Lung Wo Road by those on the bridge above.

Barricades were reinforced with anything protesters could get their hands on – including materials from a nearby construction site.

Fifty-eight people, including 11 police officers, were hospitalised during the unrest.

At least 45 arrests were made.

One protester apparently brought a young child to the protest.

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The government has branded the protesters as ‘radicals’, referring to Sunday’s events as a ‘riot’.

Some protesters actively pushed police cordons and a minority threw items such as plastic bottles and helmets at officers.

Demonstrators were otherwise disciplined with no evidence of looting, vandalism, destruction of property or behaviour which typically constitutes “rioting”.

After tactical police led the first Lung Wo Road clearance, personal possessions such as glasses, tablet computers, cell phones, bank cards and cash were strewn across the area.

Officers cleared the lanes of debris themselves.

At around 3am, Lung Wo Road was reoccupied once more.

At the main occupy site, supplies were shipped forward as activists repeatedly returned to the front line.

Overnight, pedestrian entrances between the MTR and the government complex were blockaded.

Many followed what was happened on the front lines on their phones, or by listening to announcements on the main stage.

Lung Wo Road was swiftly cleared by police shortly after day break.

Student leader Alex Chow later admitted that, although successful initially, the plan to paralyse government headquarters had failed.

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