Protesters chanting ''We want real democracy'' have clashed with Hong Kong police who are trying to retake streets in a downtown area being occupied by the pro-democracy movement. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Riot police clashed with protesters late on Wednesday (November 26) evening trying to regain lost ground hours after clearing one of the largest protest sites that has choked the city for months. Hundreds of protesters and onlookers demanded police open the roads after some tried to storm the main thoroughfare and also chanted for real democracy. Earlier in the day Hong Kong police dismantled barricades and tents, arresting scores of pro-democracy activists in what could be a turning point in the fight to wrest greater political freedom from Beijing's control. Student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were among those arrested as hundreds of officers swept through the bustling area of Mong Kok, clearing barricades and tents that had blocked key roads in the Chinese-controlled city for more than two months. Some among the pockets of demonstrators still out on the streets denied the setback marked the beginning of the end of the occupation, and it was not clear if or when police might try to remove the remaining protest sites elsewhere in the city. Mong Kok has been a flashpoint for clashes between students and mobs intent on breaking up the protests, which have posed one of the biggest challenges to China's Communist Party leaders since the crushing of student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. In August, Beijing offered the people of Hong Kong, which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, the chance to vote for their own leader in 2017, but said only two to three candidates could run after getting majority backing from a 1,200-person "nominating committee" stacked with Beijing loyalists. The protests started in late September and drew more than 100,000 to the streets at their peak. Protesters still occupy segments of roads, blocking traffic, in the city's Admiralty district near government offices and Causeway Bay, a major shopping area. The crowded, working class district of Mong Kok has been the scene of some of the most violent confrontations in the two-month long "Occupy Central" civil disobedience campaign. The pro-democracy movement is showing signs of splintering, with radical voices calling for escalated action.