(HONG KONG) — Hong Kong leader CY Leung announced the city’s roads must be opened by Monday — the first deadline the government has set for demonstrators.
Escalating violence prompted the leaders’ call for clear streets, saying individuals blocked access to government headquarters and the chief’s executive office, preventing 3,000 staff members to go to work.
“Over the past few days, the government repeatedly called for those who rallied in the roads to disperse peacefully. It also repeatedly and sternly warned those who were outside the government headquarters to stop blocking the entrances and exits,” Leung said.
“…There are many social issues that need to be resolved, but the correct way is to communicate rationally and to seek common ground while reserving differences, not street fights, which will further worsen the issue.”
Pro-democracy protests have continued over the week as crowds call for electoral reforms.
The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong also advised citizens to avoid all protest areas “due to the potential risk of escalating violence.”
In an emergency message released Saturday, officials cited rising tensions as cause for concerns, recommending citizens adhere by local laws and plan alternate routes if individuals are affected by demonstrations.
The U.S. Consulate General attributes violent confrontations to anti-Occupy counter-protesters who attacked ohters in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island and Mongkok in Kowloon. The incidents resulted in injuries and some arrests.
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