Harcourt Road reopens as protesters leave - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Harcourt Road reopens as protesters leave

2019-06-17 HKT 08:54
Share this story facebook
  • Harcourt Road reopens as protesters leave
  • Police officers asking people on Harcourt Road to clear the area. Photo: RTHK
    Police officers asking people on Harcourt Road to clear the area. Photo: RTHK
  • Protesters on Harcourt Road face off with police on Monday morning. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters on Harcourt Road face off with police on Monday morning. Photo: RTHK
Harcourt Road reopened for traffic again at around 11am on Monday after the remaining protesters left the area.

The protesters had stayed on after Sunday's massive march that saw nearly two million people take to the streets against the government's extradition bill.

Bus operators said they have resumed normal services after roads in Admiralty reopened.

Some of the protesters voluntarily cleared the barricades they had put up as police stayed on the sidelines, after demonstrators defied calls to leave the area.

An RTHK reporter said a group of 200 police officers – both plainclothed and in uniform – slowly walked down Harcourt Road at 7:15am and stopped at barricades set up by protesters.

A police spokeswoman appealed to the protesters to quietly leave the area, but they responded with slogans, calling for people arrested during Wednesday's protest to be freed and for an end to "political prosecutions".

They also called on the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, to completely scrap the extradition bill and come out and speak to them directly.

Police said they were just inviting members of the public to leave the occupied roads ahead of the morning rush hour to continue their protest elsewhere without blocking traffic.

After 45 minutes of failed negotiations, police left and Harcourt Road was still occupied by protesters.

But Lung Wo Road and Queensway were cleared and were open to traffic. But several bus routes were suspended or diverted.

Police had kept a low profile for much of the march on Sunday, following criticism of their handling of a protest on Wednesday, when tear gas and rubber bullets were fired into the crowds and some 80 people were injured.

Sunday's record turnout forced a late apology from Lam over her handling of the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.

On Saturday, she announced that she was postponing any further action on the bill indefinitely but stopped short of saying sorry for the unrest and violence that her decision to push ahead with the legislation had caused.

______________________________
Last updated: 2019-06-17 HKT 11:59