Hong Kong police use pepper spray on protestors after becoming cornered in occupied road tunnel

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protestors have taken over a tunnel in Lung Wo Road after a scuffle that saw police resorting to pepper spray when trapped between two groups. A small gathering of (mainly) students began to congregate in the area along the waterfront in Admiralty around 11pm on Tuesday night. Some set about building makeshift barriers, while others relaxed and took in the sea air.

A group of around 30 police officers attended as the traffic began to build up, but as more protestors massed, they found themselves trapped in the tunnel with demonstrators on both sides.

According to a Coconuts reporter on the scene, the protestors reacted angrily when officers attempted to arrest one of their group, after which police used pepper spray on the crowd before retreating.

The police are now gathered at the junction between Tin Wa Avenue and Lung Wo Road, as the estimated 2000-3000 pro-democracy activists busy themselves binding metal barriers together with cable ties, weighing down plastic barriers with water, and piling up bricks in the tunnel.

Jason Li, 26, a currently unemployed graduate in translation studies, told Coconuts, “We try to be calm, and we try to be peaceful, but it seems the government doesn’t want to talk with us and instead gives us the cold shoulder. Carrie Lam [Hong Kong’s chief secretary] is not even in Hong Kong and if we don’t escalate I don’t think the government will treat us seriously.”

Police started dismantling barricades at Hong Kong protest sites on Monday, and have so far cleared areas in Central and Causeway Bay. In a press conference today they urged protestors to stop rebuilding “illegal” barriers and warned that Mong Kok would be targeted next.

Photos: Laurel Chor, Coconuts Media

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