Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have turned violent
Right now in Hong Kong, there is a tense standoff between local police and tens of thousands of pro-democracy protestors, who have been joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, which has announced the formal beginning of a campaign of civil disobedience in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
This weekend’s demonstrations follow a week of boycotts and protests, led by university and college students, against what many people view as the encroachment of China’s political will on the semi-autonomous government of Hong Kong. This comes as a result of China’s decision to only allow candidates who have been approved by the mainland government to stand in the city’s election for chief executive, Hong Kong’s top civil position.
Earlier today, local police unleashed tear gas into a crowd of protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowds that have besieged the city government for the last 3 days. The Chinese government has issued a firm condemnation of what it calls “illegal acts” by the opposition.
The local police fired canisters of tear gas on a crowd of thousands in front of the headquarters of the city government, and as the painful vapor spread, demonstrators began to retreat, but later sought to return to the area, which they had seized on Friday night. Police officers also began squirting pepper spray on protestors and raised their batons to ward off angry residents.
Read more about the story at Reuters.