On Wednesday night, thousands of pro-democracy occupy activists descended upon Mong Kok to “go shopping”.
Protesters say they were heeding CY Leung’s call to return to the shops after Kowloon’s occupy encampment was cleared earlier that day.
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) November 26, 2014
At dusk, police used force to prevent protesters invading Nathan Road and to ensure traffic remained flowing.
Scuffles broke out throughout the early evening and some protesters were hospitalised after police used batons.
— ChrisDerps (@ChrisDerps) November 26, 2014
Netizens later criticised police for using unnecessary force against protesters in retreat…
Some police officers were spotted obscuring their badge numbers, a practice which attracted complaints during earlier clashes in Mong Kok.
Throughout the evening, crowds on Mong Kok’s main shopping thoroughfare, Sai Yeung Choi Street, chanted “gau wu” – a bastardised translation of “shopping” in Putongua.
Many protesters demanded access to Nathan Road claiming to be mainland tourists keen to purchase baby milk and gold.
Earlier, student leader Joshua Wong and netizens on Golden Forum urged people to answer the chief executive’s call to ‘hit the shops’.
However, most retailers on Sai Yeung Choi Street chose to close early.
For much of the evening, eager “shoppers” were quietly gathered facing police cordons.
At the intersection of Argyle Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street, dozens of protesters attempted to repeatedly cross the road.
Police were forced to clear the road multiple times in order to restore traffic flow after pedestrian lights switched to red.
Those found to be crossing the road multiple times were filmed by police.
Protesters eventually sat down. The few hundred who remained overnight were moved on by police at around 4am.
The latest “fluid occupy” or “shopping revolution” tactics are a challenge to Hong Kong’s unlawful assembly rules. By law, organisers of public ‘processions’ or ‘meetings’ consisting of 30 people or more must seek prior permission from the police commissioner.