Hong Kong Protesters Push Back Police

Hong Kong protesters forced police to retreat at a sit-in site Friday evening leaving one of the organizers worried about an uptick in violence.

Hong Kong Protesters Push Back Police
Getty Images / Chris McGrath

Protesters in Hong Kong's so-called "Umbrella Revolution" have retaken a sit-in site that police had cleared less than a day earlier.

Protesters faced both pepper spray and batons, according to a BBC correspondent in Hong Kong. True to the name of the protests, people were seen using umbrellas to fend off the use of force by police.

Estimates put the number of protesters who retook the camp at around 9,000. Clashes throughout the night with police reportedly resulted in 26 protestor arrests and 15 police officers being injured. 

As the demonstrations enter their fourth week and the Hong Kong government readies itself for renewed talks with protesters, there's still no really clear end in sight — which is getting officials and observers worried.

In response to last night's protests, Hong Kong's police commissioner broke a long-held silence:

HONG KONG POLICE COMMISSIONER ANDY TSANG WAI-HUNG VIA NEWS.GOV.HK"I have a message from the bottom of my heart. These illegal acts are hurting Hong Kong, hurting our society."

A statement issued by the Occupy Central group reads that by clearing out the camp earlier in the day, the government had strained relations between the police and public.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Chan Kin Man, a sociology professor and one of the three protest leaders, warned things are getting out of control, with increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters. 

Protesters have imposed a deadline of next Wednesday for negotiations with the government to begin.

This video includes images from Getty Images.