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Police Move Against Pro-Democracy Protesters In Hong Kong

In a dawn raid, officers took down barricades and tents in an offshoot of the main protest area. This is a developing story.

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Hong Kong police officers removed barricades and a tent in a dawn raid Friday.

Police said they were not trying to clear pro-democracy protesters out of the area in Mong Kok, an offshoot of the main protest in the city's financial district, the Associated Press reported.

The officers surrounded about 30 protesters, who did not resist.

Students and other democracy supporters in Hong Kong have occupied streets for weeks, demanding their right to local elections without interference from the Chinese government. Though Hong Kong is a part of China, it has semi-autonomy and residents have a number of freedoms that are not part of the larger Chinese government.

The protests have been largely peaceful, though initial clashes with police left more than 50 people injured. Many carried umbrellas as protection against tear gas and the elements, earning the movement the nickname, the Umbrella Revolution.

After a video surfaced showing a police officer beating an activist, however, outrage followed. The leader of Hong Kong's government offered to speak with protesters as early as next weeks.

Photos on Twitter showed the cleared-out site.

One report said hundreds of police officers responded.

500-600 police dismantling occupy site in Mong Kong now.

PBoykoff@PBoykoffFollow

500-600 police dismantling occupy site in Mong Kong now.

5:55 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Within about half an hour, the area was cleared.

HAPPENING NOW: #hk police are giving protestors 15 mins to move belongings and leave so police can reopen roads. protestors cooperating.

Esther Pang@essipangFollow

HAPPENING NOW: #hk police are giving protestors 15 mins to move belongings and leave so police can reopen roads. protestors cooperating.

2:30 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#Hongkong protesters peacefully removing cartloads of their belongings as police destroy barricades

Keith Bradsher@KeithBradsherFollow

#Hongkong protesters peacefully removing cartloads of their belongings as police destroy barricades

3:17 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#occupymongkok has been effectively cleared out. No clashes so far. Tons of police and press here #umhk

Esther Pang@essipangFollow

#occupymongkok has been effectively cleared out. No clashes so far. Tons of police and press here #umhk

3:14 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Remnants of supply tents at #occupymongkok it was a swift operation at the crack of dawn by #HK police #umhk

Esther Pang@essipangFollow

Remnants of supply tents at #occupymongkok it was a swift operation at the crack of dawn by #HK police #umhk

3:19 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The motivation for the raid was not immediately known.

Police said clear Nathan Road for traffic but Now TV questions what kind of traffic is it for, police didnt answer. Transparent? #OccupyHK

Kris Cheng@krislcFollow

Police said clear Nathan Road for traffic but Now TV questions what kind of traffic is it for, police didnt answer. Transparent? #OccupyHK

5:52 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Mood in Mong Kok is resigned. "Some people went home because they were scared the police would fight the protesters," one protester tells me

Katy Lee ???@kjaleeFollow

Mood in Mong Kok is resigned. "Some people went home because they were scared the police would fight the protesters," one protester tells me

3:39 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Protesters remained in the area, however, and began rebuilding their tents as the day went on.

Protesters resetting tents and supply station in Mong Kok #OccupyHK #OccupyCentral

Fion Li@fion_liFollow

Protesters resetting tents and supply station in Mong Kok #OccupyHK #OccupyCentral

7:23 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Watch live video from the protests here.

View this video on YouTube

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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