Hong Kong: Protesters End Highway Occupation Outside Parliament
By Staff, Agencies
Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong ended their occupation of a major highway outside parliament Monday morning, allowing traffic to flow again, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
Police had spent the morning pleading with a few hundred holdouts to clear the usually busy road and the group eventually relented without any confrontation. Most of the remaining demonstrators moved to a nearby park.
Even a climbdown by the Hong Kong's embattled leader, who suspended an unpopular extradition bill, failed to assuage seething public anger following unprecedented clashes between protesters and police, as the city was readying on Sunday for another mass rally.
The city was rocked by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to China as tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Lam stopped short of committing to permanently scrapping the proposal Saturday and the concession was swiftly rejected by protest leaders, who called on her to resign, permanently shelve the bill and apologize for police tactics.
Critics fear the Beijing-backed law could ensnare people in Chinese courts, widely viewed as opaque and politicized, and damage the city's reputation as a business-friendly hub.