|Protesters removed from Central
Police have forcibly cleared the last of the protesters staging a sit-in at Chater Road in central after the end of the July 1 mass rally.
The protesters, including members of the Federation of Students and Civic Passion, had linked arms together while sitting on the road, and had vowed to stay until 8am, Wednesday, RTHK reports.
Police had earlier warned those taking part in the sit-in that they risked arrest and prosecution.
Just after 3am officers began to move in and load the protesters onto coaches. Some went willingly but those who remained were told that the police would use "necessary force" unless they boarded "designated vehicles".
Groups of officers then began to cordon off and physically carry demonstrators from the site. A cop said that all those remaining were under arrest for causing "obstruction and danger to road users" and for unauthorized assembly.
The last of the protesters were removed about 8:30am, with Chater Road reopening to traffic at 9am.
The confrontation involving a few hundred demonstrators followed a largely peaceful rally Tuesday, which organizers said attracted a record crowd and the largest since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.
The march organizers say 510,000 people took part in the democracy rally, but police estimated that 98,600 people were there. The University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme put the number of demonstrators at between 154,000 and 172,000.
The march, which began at 3pm in Victoria Park, did not finish in Central until eight hours later.