Hong Kong protesters beaten and bloodied as thugs attack sit-in
Thugs punched and kicked pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Friday night, drawing blood as they tore down demonstrators’ tents and attempted to force them out.
Student leaders called off talks with the government – offered the previous night – accusing officials of allowing violence to be used against them. It dashed the hopes of a resolution to a mass movement that has seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets of the city at its height.
The veteran democracy activist Martin Lee and Occupy Central leader, Benny Tai, blamed triads for the violence in Mong Kok, a densely populated area also popular with shoppers. The area is known for its gang presence.
Police later confirmed that some of the 19 people arrested had triad backgrounds
Lee told the South China Morning Post: “It was very ugly in Mong Kok; clearly the anti-Occupy people deliberately caused a scene and created trouble, giving police an excuse.”