As Beijing city leader declared that the occupied streets have to be cleared by Monday, the standoff between protesters and antagonists is increasing in tension. Minor incidents were reported.
Skirmishes constantly broke out between protesters and antagonists, all broken up by bystanders or police. Some residents were dumping water from apartments onto those below and the students are accusing police that they are not protecting them.
During Friday the students were heard shouting “Black Police”, which is a reference to the fact that the police is aligned with criminal gangs or black societies in order to clear out protests. The government denies the claim.
Leung Chun-ying, Beijing Chief Secretary, appeared Saturday on television and urged people to go home as things have to be back to normal on Monday. He said:
“There are many problems to be resolved in society, but the right way is through rational communication to seek common ground while holding back differences. Not fighting on the streets, which makes things worse.”
During Friday and Saturday, police officers arrested 19 people. 12 citizens and officers were reported injured. 8 of those arrested are believed to have a background linked to organized crime, according to Patrick Kwok Pak-chung, Senior Superintendent.
Deputy police superintendent Cheung Tak-keung declared that police was trying to maintain a buffer zone between those with different views. He said:
“The situation was not easy to handle. We strongly condemn all violent acts.”
Students and activists are objecting to the decision made by China to have a committee that is mostly made out of pro-Beijing figures to screen candidates for the first ever top leader election of the city in 2017. Protesters also demand that Leung resigns.
The talks are currently suspended and police are urging both protesters and opponents to clear streets. They have not been using tear gas or pepper spray, as they did in the beginning of the conflict, which led to more people coming to the streets.
The situation in Beijing is getting worse and many expect conflicts to break out before Monday. Protesters are currently wearing yellow ribbons and opponents use blue ribbons to signal support for the Chinese government.