Clashes have continued between Occupy and anti-Occupy groups in Mongkok as overall protest numbers gradually recede. Police have also resorted to the use of pepper spray on protests whom have been accused of being emotionally and verbally abusive to officers. Police have not responded to questions about their use of force as yet whilst the Hong Kong Federation of Students has set out two conditions for new negotiations with the government.The student protesters are demanding that the police thoroughly investigate attacks on protesters and that they are able to have dialogue with Carrie Lam and her task force but not Leung Chun-ying.
The protest areas around Admiralty and Causeway Bay have continued to remain peaceful as a large rally was held near the Central Government Headquaters last night. Meanwhile the People's Daily, a state run newspaper of the Communist Party has run four articles critical of the Occupy central protests. Early in the morning the police issued a new statement warning that violence would not be tolerated, this was followed up by the officer whom authorised the use of tear gas a week ago saying that he has no regrets. Reports of sexual harassment are growing as pro-democracy protesters come under attack. Tension between business owners and protesters are also growing with many shops reporting a reduction in business due to the protests.
Many students have been urged to return to their studies and leave the protests by their universities in fear of escalating violence. Exceutive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong says Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's televised speech last night should not be described as an 'ultimatum' for protesters rather that public order and safety need be restored. Early in the afternoon, an anti-Occupy protester climbed onto of the Admiralty footbridge demanding to speak with the student leaders, foreign media and shouting that the protests have blocked roads for too long. Fire rescue crews arrived as the man denied that he was paid by pro-government or pro-Beijing groups.
The injury count for the Occupy protests stands at 165 with most released whilst 9 remained in a stable condition. An executive at Chow Tai Food, one of Hong Kong's largest jewelry chains has been critixcised for mocking victims of sexual harassment in Mongkok. During a press conference, police were asked if they would resort to tear gas and rubber bullets to restore the streets and ready the city for business again by Monday, the police responded by saying that the situation is being monitored and will be assessed as well as that breaches of police lines would not be tolerated. So far 30 people have been arrested with 20 being released on bail. Anti-democratic sentiment particularly from pro-Beijing groups can be felt around Hong Kong with street renditions of the national anthem and further clashes between Occupy and anti-Occupy groups.
In the evening, former chief secretary Henry Tang furthered calls for the students and protesters to disperse and begin negotiations. Executive Councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said that there would be an investigation into the police response as demanded by the Hong Kong Federation of Students to maintain the police's credibility. In a surprise announcement, the Occupy Central leadership has called on its Mongkok protesters to dismatle the site and join in with other Occupy protesters in Admiralty due to safety concerns. Some have agreed to leave Monkok following a vote whilst others continue to hold down to their positions. Debate also raged between protesters in Admiralty as to whether to comply with police requests to clear the roads and the areas outside the Chief Executive Officer's office.
Updated 5 October 2014 at 9pm
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