Battle Over Road Ends in Arrests, Clearance in Hong Kong
Battle Over Road Ends in Arrests, Clearance in Hong Kong
Demonstrators hold umbrellas, a symbol of the pro-democracy protests, amid a clash with police during the protest near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Nov. 30, 2014. Protesters want free elections in 2017 for Hong Kong's leader, whom Beijing says must be vetted through a loyalist committee. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators hold umbrellas, a symbol of the pro-democracy protests, amid a clash with police during the protest near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Nov. 30, 2014. Protesters want free elections in 2017 for Hong Kong's leader, whom Beijing says must be vetted through a loyalist committee. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-democracy protesters take a break outside the government headquarters in the Admiralty District of Hong Kong on Monday. (Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-democracy protesters take a break outside the government headquarters in the Admiralty District of Hong Kong on Monday. (Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen clear a road from umbrellas left behind during clashes with pro-democracy protesters outside the government headquarters in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong early December 1, 2014. Protesters want free elections in 2017 for Hong Kong's leader, whom Beijing says must be vetted through a loyalist committee. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen clear a road from umbrellas left behind during clashes with pro-democracy protesters outside the government headquarters in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong early December 1, 2014. Protesters want free elections in 2017 for Hong Kong's leader, whom Beijing says must be vetted through a loyalist committee. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Riot police clash with pro-democracy protesters outside Central Government Complex at admiralty district on December 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. Leaders from the Federation of Students called on fellow protesters to attend a rally and come prepared for escalated action. Protesters were asked to bring masks, umbrellas and helmets in a bid to move the protests forward after police successfully cleared the Mong Kok protest site earlier this week. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

Riot police clash with pro-democracy protesters outside Central Government Complex at admiralty district on December 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. Leaders from the Federation of Students called on fellow protesters to attend a rally and come prepared for escalated action. Protesters were asked to bring masks, umbrellas and helmets in a bid to move the protests forward after police successfully cleared the Mong Kok protest site earlier this week. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

Riot police arrest a pro-democracy protester during clash outside Central Government Complex on Nov. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. According to reports, hundreds of pro-democracy protestors and police faced-off with at least five protesters arrested. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

Riot police arrest a pro-democracy protester during clash outside Central Government Complex on Nov. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. According to reports, hundreds of pro-democracy protestors and police faced-off with at least five protesters arrested. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

Police officers use pepper spray as they clash with pro-democracy protesters outside Hong Kong's Government complex on Nov. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. Leaders from the Federation of Students called on fellow protesters to attend a rally and come prepared for escalated action. Protesters were asked to bring masks, umbrellas and helmets in a bid to move the protests forward after police successfully cleared the Mong Kok protest site earlier this week. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Police officers use pepper spray as they clash with pro-democracy protesters outside Hong Kong's Government complex on Nov. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. Leaders from the Federation of Students called on fellow protesters to attend a rally and come prepared for escalated action. Protesters were asked to bring masks, umbrellas and helmets in a bid to move the protests forward after police successfully cleared the Mong Kok protest site earlier this week. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

A night of back-and-forth occupation and seizure of a key artery in Hong Kong ended with an early morning police raid on Dec. 1, ejecting the last group of tired and bedraggled protesters from Lung Wo Road, the main road outside the headquarters of the government and the office of the chief executive.

Police, screaming and pointing, their batons flying, then pushed protesters back to their main encampment on Harcourt Road, which they have occupied for the last two months. In an apparent act of minor reprisal, the police also took the opportunity to snip away some of the pro-democracy banners that have hung on one of the sky bridges overlooking the occupied zone.

By that time, nearly 11 hours had passed since protesters first took Lung Wo Road—those that remained put up little fight.

Over 40 arrests had been made by the morning, and a stream of photographs uploaded to social media showed protesters with lacerations and deep bruises on their backs and limbs, caused by police batons. Others were soaked with pepper spray, delivered by pump action hoses operated by police. 

The events began at around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, with thousands streaming onto the road in an almost spontaneous rush. Just as they did two weeks ago when they seized the same road, they ran through the tunnel next to government headquarters, and set up makeshift roadblocks.

That first occupation was tolerated by police—for a time.

The protesters had flooded onto the road in their hard hats, gas masks, and goggles, chanting pro-democracy slogans. 

Their goal was to hold the road overnight, to stop Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the civil service from coming to work in the morning. That part of the plan appeared to be a success, with the government telling public servants that they didn’t need to come to work in the morning, according to Radio Television Hong Kong. It seemed that they were to start in the afternoon, instead.

Police attempted at one point to clear the road, but were driven back by the mass of occupiers, some of whom tossed water bottles and held their ground with opened umbrellas, a symbol of the movement.

“We will open up this road,” Police Senior Superintendent Tsui Wai-hung told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

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