While demonstrations are now relatively smaller, fights still erupted on Friday in the famous shopping district in Hong Kong as pro-China residents removed tents and banners belonging to pro-democracy protesters.
A hundred of pro-democracy protesters faced a thousand of Hong Kong residents in the bustling district of Mong Kok, famous for its open-air and night markets, spitting at and throwing bottles at each other, Reuters reported.
The police, who were struggling to keep the two groups separate, formed a human chain but some Beijing supporters berated them for failing to clear the demonstrators.
“We are all fed up and our lives are affected,” said teacher Victor Ma, 42. “You don’t hold Hong Kong citizens hostage because it’s not going to work. That’s why the crowd is very angry here.”
The democracy activists linked arms and held hands as they tried to stand their ground within the crowded neighborhood, Fox News reported.
Similar clashes also happened at the upscale Causeway Bay area, where residents who oppose the demonstrations removed street barriers put up by the democracy protesters.
Tens of thousands have went out the streets of Hong Kong in the past week, demanding full democracy in the Chinese territory, including full democratic elections in 2017 when they will choose a new leader. They also want Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying, whom they accused of being a Beijing’s puppet, out.
The protests, dubbed as Occupy Central, are the biggest challenge to Beijing’s authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997, and the largest series demonstrations since the bloody Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.