Hong Kong authorities removed street barricades from a pro-democracy protest camp in a volatile district today, part of a two-day operation in which police arrested more than 100 people, including key student leaders. Police in helmets swiftly cleared obstructions, including tents, from the two-month-old protest site in Mong Kok, across the harbor from the main occupied area in the financial district. According to local media, 4,000 officers were on hand to enforce a court injunction granted to taxi drivers to remove obstructions along Nathan Road, a busy artery in Kowloon.
Police said 116 people have been arrested for offenses including unlawful assembly and assaulting or obstructing police. Among those arrested were student leaders Joshua Wong, the 18-year-old head of the Scholarism group, and Lester Shum, deputy secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, according to the groups' Facebook pages. The arrests of Wong and Shum could reinvigorate the protest movement, which has been losing steam as the Hong Kong government's apparent strategy of waiting out the student-led protesters left them with few options. (Read more Hong Kong stories.)