The Hong Kong police have been resorting to violence in their confrontations with protesters this past week, and their metal night stick appears to be the main “weapon of choice.”
In a number of standoffs between protesters and police in Mong Kok on Friday night, Oct. 17, police would baton-charge the unarmed protesters, and some have been injured in the resulting clashes.
Some protesters have been spotted to be bleeding from their head, and photos of their injuries have posted to social media.
At the time of writing, neither party is giving up ground.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, the police started clearing barricades and protesters at a number of protest sites.
Mong Kok was practically swept clean by noon, but the protesters returned in force to Argyle Street and Nathan Road in the evening, and have resumed occupying the area and rebuilding barricades.
Police have responded to the re-occupation by wielding their batons, using pepper spray, and arresting protesters almost willy-nilly.
“The police have lost control. They are beating up protesters like we’re animals. We are angry. The students are our future,” said Tommy Lee, a 45-year-old technology worker who flew into a rage after seeing police handcuff four protesters who appeared to be only high school students.
Meanwhile, the police claim that three of their numbers were injured.
Earlier in the evening, police also arrested a Getty photojournalist, Paula Bronstein.
As the Occupy Central demonstrations head into the fourth week, things are starting to look dicey for the pro-democracy protesters, while the Hong Kong police force’s reputation as guardians of Hong Kong citizens is increasing being sullied.