[Ed. – China’s ending of legitimate democratic elections in Hong Kong has been stealthy, but hasn’t gone unnoticed by the locals. Expect Beijing to move on them and subjugate Hong Kong — a step the Party leaders have been eyeing for more than a decade.]
A standoff between Hong Kong police and democracy activists occupying a public plaza at the Chinese territory’s main government compound continued into early Sunday despite repeated attempts by officers to disperse the growing crowd. More than 70 people, most of them university and high school students, were arrested.
As midnight passed, tens of thousands of people appeared to be massed in and around the complex. Earlier, police had forcibly removed students who had scaled fences to get into Civic Plaza, which had been cordoned off after another recent protest.
Periodically, police pressed toward protesters using metal barricades. Pockets of demonstrators occasionally broke into chants. “The students are innocent! The students are innocent!” yelled some. “Officers, back off! Back off! Back off!”
The move to occupy the plaza came after thousands of university students skipped classes last week to protest election guidelines issued by top mainland Chinese government authorities for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections.
Demonstrators say the rules will prevent a truly free and fair election for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the highest office in the semi-autonomous territory that was a British colony until 1997.