Hong Kong once again awoke (29 September) to protesters occupying city streets and major roads in the Admiralty and Mongkok districts. The tensions between the protesters and police calmed down as riot police withdrew by early morning not before a series of tear gas attacks on protesters during the middle of the night. As dawn arrived, the protest remained calm and peaceful with supporters bringing supplies to the people on the streets, Most of the city's workers were generally supportive of the protest despite traffic diversions and roadblocks increasing travel times with only a handful of arguments between protesters and workers. A number of schools and businesses around Hong Kong have gone on strike in support of Occupy Central and protest at the police's heavy handed response.
The police response has attracted criticism from lawyers as well as from pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong. Albert Ho, a pro-democratic politician was released without charge by police after 10 hours of detention. The US Consulate General also released a statement endorsing Hong Kong's Basic Law as well as encouraging peace and stability for the special administrative region. Australia also issued a travel warning advising citizens to take normal safety precautions as a result of the Occupy Central protests. Crowds once again increased towards the late afternoon with Occupy Central organisers saying that the Hong People will not retreat unless fired upon. The Hong Kong government has also cancelled the Chinese National Day fireworks scheduled for October 1 due to the protests.
By the evening, the Hong Kong police released a statement maintaining that their response to the protesters was appropriate and that only minimum force was used as a result of breaches to the police cordon. The government's chief secretary, Carrie Lam also reiterated her belief that the government had sincerely listened to Hong Kong people regarding political reforms and denied rumors that she was resigning. Many businesses in Causeway Bay and other parts of Hong Kong closed early due to the ongoing protests. As night fell, the number of protesters increased with organisers urging the crowd to spread out between Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai. Student leader Joshua Wong also commented that the protests had gone beyond their expectations.
Crowds increased as the night furthered with chants calling on the downfall of Leung Chun-ying. The protest has extended from Mongkok to Prince Edward in Kowloon as well. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong chief secretary was forced to quickly correct her statement from the police used appropriate 'violence' to appropriate 'force'. A number of Christian groups have also taken to the streets of Mongkok carrying crosses and prayers in light of the situation. By late in the night, many of the protesters were singing and barbecuing on the streets. The Hong Kong Red Cross from its first aid station in Admiralty reported that there have been over 100 injuries with just a few serious cases requiring hospital treatment. Occupy Central organisers urged protesters to stay put and that October 1 would mark an important point for the movement with an escalation of civil disobedience if their demands were not met.
During the night a car was driven at high speed into the crowd narrowly missing protesters and police. By early morning (30 September) the protesters had rearranged barricades in Mongkok affirming their position as well as to allow some traffic to move. A number of Chinese military aircraft were spotted flying over Victoria Harbour briefly spooking the crowd whom continued to be weary about the People's Liberation Army entering Hong Kong. By mid-morning a number of schools around Wan Chai had gone on strike along with many roads remaining closed to traffic by protesters. In Leung Chun-ying's morning address, he criticised the Occupy Central organisers for not calling on the protesters to disperse as well as reiterating that Occupy Central was illegal as well as that the Hong Kong government was powerless over constitutional matters. Both sides are now expecting that the protests will become a protracted matter that was not expected to be dissolved overnight. By the afternoon, protesters began removing police barricades around Harcourt Road in Admiralty with officers halting this action.
Members of the People's Liberation Army have also been seen watching the protests from their buildings with binoculars. Over in Kowloon, the police's request for the streets to be reopened to traffic were met with chants of 'no compromise'. Acting in response to Leung Chun-ying's claims that the protesters had impeded emergency services, the Occupy Central organisers have set up several 'humanitarian corridors' to allow emergency vehicles into the area. In the evening, the police confirmed that a total of 87 rounds of tear gas had been fired but refused to answer questions on the use of rubber bullets. As night approached, many students and workers continue to join the protests in both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Update as at 30 September 2014 at 6pm
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