Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong has appealed to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government to exercise restraint on the second day of Occupy Central protests after police sprayed tear gas on people who had massed up in Hong Kong’s Central district and surrounding neighborhoods for the civil disobedience movement.
Cardinal Tong also appealed to the tens of thousands of protesters, including young students, to keep calm, as he urged Christians to pray for peaceful reconciliation of the conflicting parties in the protests.
Earlier on Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Cheung Tak-Keung told a press conference that around 41 people, including 12 police were injured when protesters charged through police cordon lines yesterday in what media called the “Umbrella Revolution” because people carried umbrellas for protection against tear gas.
Cheung said police warned oncoming protesters and gave them time to comply with orders. He said police used tear gas 87 times in nine locations yesterday. They also resorted to using pepper spray and batons to keep their distance and prevent injuries, the commissioner said. He said police used “minimum force.”
By paralyzing Hong Kong’s financial hub, Occupy Centeral with Love and Peace protests aim to press for democratic change, mainly in allowing citizens to freely choose their top leaders.