Mong Kok areas limp back to normalcy - RTHK
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Mong Kok areas limp back to normalcy

2016-02-09 HKT 09:41
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  • Mong Kok areas limp back to normalcy
  • The debris left on the road on Tuesday morning. Photo: RTHK
    The debris left on the road on Tuesday morning. Photo: RTHK
  • Cleaners arrive to remove the debris from the streets. Photo: RTHK
    Cleaners arrive to remove the debris from the streets. Photo: RTHK
  • The MTR station at Mong Kok remained shut till Tuesday morning. Photo: RTHK
    The MTR station at Mong Kok remained shut till Tuesday morning. Photo: RTHK
  • Police commissioner Stephen Lo arrives at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to visit inuured officers. Photo: RTHK
    Police commissioner Stephen Lo arrives at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to visit inuured officers. Photo: RTHK
Priscilla Ng reports
Mong Kok had limped back to normalcy by Tuesday evening as the streets where clashes took place between police and protesters overnight were all opened for public.

Rubbish bins, chunks of brick and broken bottles that lay scattered along the Nathan Road shopping strip on Tuesday morning had all been cleared.

Trouble started on Monday night over attempted clearance of some street vendors by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department officials. The hawkers have become a local tradition during the Lunar New Year holiday but this year authorities tried to remove them.

The hawkers were backed by activists who objected to the crackdown. The activists, known as localists, claim that Hong Kong's local culture is disappearing as Beijing tightens its hold on the city.

The pitched street battle erupted after a standoff as officials tried to shift the hawkers from a section of Portland Street between Shantung and Nelson Street. Police said they used batons and pepper spray after a crowd ignored calls to disperse, but continued to block traffic.

Police fired at least two warning shots into the air after some of the officers came under repeated attacks.

The Acting District Commander for Mong Kok District, Yau Siu-kei, said he believed the riot might be organised as truckloads of equipment and shields were seen being transported to the scene.

Police said 54 people, including seven women were arrested and 86 officers were injured. Four journalists were injured in the attack.

The MTR Corporation had closed down the Mong Kok station after trouble erupted, to prevent more people heading to the scene.It cancelled stops for trains on both the Tseun Wan and Kwun Tong lines. The station resumed normal service by 10am on Tuesday.

The streets in and around Mong Kok were the scene of some of the most violent clashes during the Occupy protests in late 2014 to demand greater democracy. The events that started on Monday overnight quickly started trending on Twitter under the hashtag #FishballRevolution.

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Last updated: 2016-02-09 HKT 16:23