NEWS – Frontlines: Umbrellas vs Riot Shields as Occupy Camp Expands


A HongWrong.com / Huffington Post cross-feature.

At around 9:40pm last night, a small group of Umbrella Movement activists dragged metal barriers on to Lung Wo Road at the rear of government headquarters. The area near the main Occupy camp was previously open to traffic. But after some debate, a small group of demonstrators moved in to block the road.

With fewer than a dozen police officers on the scene, pro-democracy protesters reinforced barriers on the eastbound side of Lung Wo Road with cable ties. The move came after police cleared an area of barricades at the southern end of the main protest site earlier in the day.

Traffic was bought to a halt as activists ignored police warnings not to block the road. Metal barricades were then erected on the eastbound side of Lung Wo Road. Riot police then emerged from near the office of the chief executive ordering protesters to disperse.

After pepper spray was deployed, protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves as a tense stand-off between demonstrators and riot police unfolded.

Police unfurled yellow warning banners and urged protesters to disperse from the tunnel.

The stand-off between several dozen police officers in riot gear and hundreds of Occupy Central protesters continued for more than 20 minutes.

More protesters began to gather at the west end of the tunnel, leaving police outnumbered.

Hundreds of young pro-democracy demonstrators on both sides of the tunnel huddled behind umbrellas ignoring police orders to disperse.

A group of protesters then rushed into the eastbound tunnel from behind the police line. Demonstrators ran in to the tunnel as police were over-whelmed.

Demonstrators wore face masks and goggles to protect themselves against the use of pepper spray by police.

Vastly outnumbered, riot police struggled to prevent protesters from taking over the dual carriageway.

Having retreated from one side of Lung Wo Road, police were forced to stand on a road division between the two lanes.

As police stood by, protesters dragged more metal barriers in to the tunnel.

Demonstrators teamed up to hastily reinforce barricades using cable ties, cling film and tape.

As riot police retreated, protesters celebrated having expanded their occupation area near government headquarters.

Police quickly left the scene as demonstrators cheered, clapped and gave each other ‘high-fives’.

More barricades were then moved into the tunnel. Police later condemned protesters for taking over the tunnel.

Unperturbed by the chaos nearby, hundreds of protesters at the main Occupy Central camp settled in for another night.