Pro-democracy protesters surround government offices in Hong Kong

Thousands of demonstrators Sunday surrounded government offices in Hong Kong in a new protest to demand democratic elections in the city, while some 3,000 police officers were deployed to try and contain them.

Convened by the two student organisations heading the massive protests since late September, Schoralism and the Hong Kong Students Federation, thousands of citizens continue to besiege the legislative council building — the former British colony’s parliament — and the office of the local governor.

The protests to demand the implementation of unrestricted universal suffrage for the 2017 elections are the latest in a series of such
actions on the streets of Hong Kong.

About 9 p.m., thousands of citizens were at one of the three main foci of the protests located in the Admiralty district in central Hong Kong, and from there they headed for the government buildings, most of them outfitted with protective goggles or glasses, helmets, face masks and umbrellas.

Hundreds of police, more than 3,000, according to local media reports, blocked access to the government facilities at different points.

As some witnesses said, police used pepper spray on two occasions and laid into the crowd with truncheons to try and disperse the demonstrators, although they did not manage to do so.

Student Federation leaders asked the demonstrators to avoid confrontations with the police.

Meanwhile, in the Mong Kok neighbourhood, another area where demonstrators had camped out until they were dislodged by thousands of police last Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered once again Sunday and about 4,000 police were deployed in the vicinity to try and prevent traffic blockages or other incidents.