Hong Kong authorities start to clear section of pro-democracy protest site

Story highlights

Hong Kong authorities start clearing barricades at a section of a downtown protest camp

The clearance followed a court order to remove obstructions outside CITIC Tower

No sign of resistance from protesters, some of whom helped move metal barricades

However, protest leaders have vowed not to leave the protest site

Hong Kong CNN  — 

Hong Kong authorities began clearing barricades at a section of a downtown protest camp on Tuesday, taking action against the pro-democracy demonstrators that have occupied parts of the city for almost two months.

The clearance followed a court order to remove obstructions outside CITIC Tower, a 33-story office building close to the main protest site in Hong Kong’s Admiralty district.

There were no signs of resistance from protesters, some of whom helped bailiffs, police and CITIC representatives move the metal barricades away from the area covered by the court injunction.

Earlier, others packed up their tents to pre-empt the bailiffs.

READ: Hong Kong protests: Who’s who

The court order only covers a small part of the main protest site, which sprawls over a major eight-lane highway that connects Hong Kong island’s main financial and commercial districts.

Hong Kong’s High Court has also issued a separate injunction to clear sections of a smaller protest site in Mong Kok, a densely populated neighborhood that has witnessed some of the most violent clashes.

Earlier attempts by riot police to clear the demonstrators have not been successful, and negotiations between student leaders and government representatives didn’t yield any progress.

In their early days, the protests brought tens of thousands of people onto the city’s streets to call for full universal suffrage after Beijing said candidates for election in 2017 would have to be screened by a committee.

However, their numbers have since dwindled and polls show that public support for the protesters is dropping.

The city’s government said on Monday that police “would arrest anyone obstructing the bailiffs.”

Hong Kong leader C.Y. Leung said on Tuesday that the protesters were breaching the law and there was no point to resist the court order.

CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout and Jonathan Stayton contributed to this report