Hong Kong police clear protesters out of tunnel

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

54 PHOTOS
Hong Kong protests 10/14 and forward
See Gallery
Hong Kong police clear protesters out of tunnel
Protesters cry as some of the protesters are beaten by riot police in the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. New scuffles broke out Friday night between Hong Kong riot police and pro-democracy activists in a district where police cleared protesters earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A pro-democracy protester is struck by a baton as riot police move on an occupied section of a roadway in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A riot police officer swings his baton at a pro-democracy protester as they move into an occupied section of a roadway in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Pro-democracy protesters shout at advancing riot police on their encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Riot police advance on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police stand guard against protesters at a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Protesters guard makeshift barricades at a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police officers try to stop protesters from moving forward on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A pro-democracy protester tries to relax fellow protesters as riot police advance on their encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police officers advance on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Protesters gather behind make-shift barricades at a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Protesters gather at a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Pro-democracy protesters shout at advancing riot police on their encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Riot police officers advance on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Hong Kong riot police battled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters for control of the city's streets Saturday, using pepper spray and batons to hold back defiant activists who returned to a protest zone that officers had partially cleared. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A protester bleeds from the head after scuffles with riot police in the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. New scuffles broke out Friday night between Hong Kong riot police and pro-democracy activists in a district where police cleared protesters earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Riot police officers use batons against protesters at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Hong Kong riot police struggled to hold back hundreds of defiant pro-democracy activists who returned to a district that officers had partially cleared earlier Friday. Police used pepper spray and batons to fend off a huge crowd that had gathered in Mong Kok, and several protesters were seen knocked to the ground or carried away by police. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police officers use batons against protesters at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Hong Kong riot police struggled to hold back hundreds of defiant pro-democracy activists who returned to a district that officers had partially cleared earlier Friday. Police used pepper spray and batons to fend off a huge crowd that had gathered in Mong Kok, and several protesters were seen knocked to the ground or carried away by police. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police officers duffle with protesters at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Hong Kong riot police struggled to hold back hundreds of defiant pro-democracy activists who returned to a district that officers had partially cleared earlier Friday. Police used pepper spray and batons to fend off a huge crowd that had gathered in Mong Kok, and several protesters were seen knocked to the ground or carried away by police. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Local residents shout at pro-democracy protesters on a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A police officer and a pro-democracy protester take video each other after police moved in the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Local residents and a mask-wearing protester gather around a road sign, covered by a slogan on a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police remove barricades after they moved in the occupied area by the pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Residents at the side walk watch riot police move in the occupied area by the pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police moved in on a Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A man walks past tents and umbrellas set up by pro-democracy protesters at an occupied area near the government headquarters in Hong Kong Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Thursday he is ready to start talks as soon as next week with student leaders of the pro-democracy protests that have rocked the city for nearly three weeks. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A protester raise a flag with Chinese words "I want real universal suffrage" and a guitar in front of barriers against police officers at a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Police officers push the protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers push protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers move forward to push protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters use umbrellas to block the pepper spray by Police officers at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers shout as they instruct the protesters to move to a nearby park at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers push protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeklong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters raise their hands up as police officers push them out to a nearby park at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers request the protesters to move to a nearby park at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers push the protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers request the protesters to move to a nearby park at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators block the underpass with concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators block the underpass with concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a week long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A demonstrator helps block the underpass with concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A man jabs his fingers in the throat of a pro-democracy protester (C) in the Central district of Hong Kong on October 13, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators move barriers as others block the main road with metal and plastic safety barriers outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators block the main road with tires outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeklong political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators climb over barriers as others block the main road with metal and plastic safety barriers outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A demonstrator carries a tire as others blocked the main road with tires outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators block the underpass with concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Demonstrators block the underpass with concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches at the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Pro-democracy activists clashed with police and barricaded a tunnel near Hong Kong's government headquarters late Tuesday, expanding their protest zone again after being cleared out of some other streets in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers push the protesters out to a nearby park to clear the main roads outside government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weeks long political crisis. Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Police officers stand guard after they removed barricades that protesters have set up to block off main roads in Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The police removed some of the barricades in a shopping district and opened one road that had been blocked by pro-democracy protesters for two weeks. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 14: A pro-democracy protester raise his hands in front of police cordon on a street outside of Hong Kong Government Complex on October 14, 2014 in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy protesters took over Lung Wo Road after police cleared off the barricades on Queen's Road. Protesters continue to call for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Protesters celebrate following a standoff with police outside the central government offices in Hong Kong on October 14, 2014. Hong Kong police vowed October 14 to tear down more street barricades manned by pro-democracy protesters, hours after hundreds of officers armed with chainsaws and boltcutters partially cleared two major roads occupied for a fortnight. AFP PHOTO/ED JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators stand behind umbrellas during a protest in the Admiralty area of Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters girded themselves for an anticipated showdown with police who earlier used chain saws and sledgehammers to clear barricades from a major road in the city's business district. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 14: Pro-democracy protesters use umbrellas to protect themselves from police's pepper spray on a street outside of Hong Kong Government Complex on October 14, 2014 in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy protesters took over Lung Wo Road after police cleared off the barricades on Queen's Road. Protesters continue to call for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 14: Pro-democracy protesters clash with police officers on a street outside of Hong Kong Government Complex on October 14, 2014 in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy protesters took over Lung Wo Road after police cleared off the barricades on Queen's Road. Protesters continue to call for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
A protester is arrested by riot polices in the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, late Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. New scuffles broke out Friday night between Hong Kong riot police and pro-democracy activists in a district where police cleared protesters earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters.

Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and removed obstacles such as concrete slabs in and around the underpass.

The operation came hours after a large group of protesters blockaded the tunnel.

They outnumbered the police officers, who later returned with reinforcements to clear the area.

Local television broadcast live footage of the operation and its aftermath, with officers taking away many protesters, their hands tied with plastic cuffs, and pushing others out to a nearby park.

The student-led protesters are now into their third week of occupying key parts of the city to pressure the Asian financial hub's government over curbs recommended by Beijing on democratic reforms.

Positions on both sides have been hardening since the government called off negotiations last week, citing the unlikelihood of a constructive outcome given their sharp differences.

Police have chipped away at the protest zones in three areas across the city by removing barricades from the edges of the protest zones, signalling growing impatience with activists' occupation of busy streets.

The clearance operation was the latest in a day of tit-for-tat actions between authorities and demonstrators that began Tuesday morning when police used chainsaws and sledgehammers to tear down barricades on a road on the edge of the protest zone.

Activists responded Tuesday evening by barricading the tunnel with tires, metal barricades, water-filled plastic safety barriers and concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches.

They used the slabs to form the shape of an umbrella on the road.

Umbrellas have become a symbol of the protests after demonstrators used them to protect themselves against pepper spray and tear gas used by police in an attempt to disperse them two weeks ago.


More on AOL.com:
Police fear trooper's killer looking to repeat
Ohio groom, friend killed in crash on wedding day
Sears apologizes for swastika ring listing

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners