Lunchtime protests break out after HK local elections
By Zhao Yunfei, An Kun
Small-scale protests have been reported in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Residents continued to express their hope for the full restoration of social order, as well as having their voice heard.
Masked protesters gathered by Kowloon Bay and the Central district for about an hour, blocking traffic. Some of them held protest slogans, and chanted the five demands they raised earlier to the government.
Tuesday's protests were the first gatherings since the results of Sunday's district council elections were announced on Monday.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong SAR's chief executive, issued a statement on the elections' outcome on Tuesday morning. She said the vote has expressed people's dissatisfaction with the government, but added that the results do not affect the government's willingness to continue to serve society.
"I did confess that this particular election has clearly reflected that many voters wanted to express their opinions and views to the government, to myself," Lam said, "and the views and opinions expressed, I hope you agree, are quite diverse."
"There are people who want to express the view that they could no longer tolerate the violence on the streets, there are people who felt that the government has not handled competently the legislative exercise and its aftermath," Lam said.
Lam also addressed the situation at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), where a number of protesters are still holed up on the campus. Lam said she has asked the police to take flexible measures to ensure a peaceful resolution.
Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said a team has been deployed to provide medical assistance to those still inside PolyUon.
"Our objective is really to use persuasive approach, patience, to really appeal to them to come out for their real safety. We hope the whole thing will end peacefully. The police are stressing a peaceful approach and a human approach in tackling the issue," Cheung said.
The university has been the at the center of a 10-day standoff between protesters and police, which led to the temporary closure of the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, a vital traffic channel in the city.
Cheung said repair works and safety assessments are being completed and that the tunnel will reopen Wednesday morning.