Protesters stay holed up on Hong Kong campus
Fewer than 100 protesters remained holed up in a Hong Kong universityyesterday as riot police encircled the campus, with some activists desperately searching for ways to escape while others hid. Some protesters said they where holding out not for a showdown with police, but because they were innocent and looking for an escape route. “I won’t consider surrendering. Surrendering is for people who are guilty.
None of us inside are guilty,” Michelle, a 20-year-old student, said on the campus of Polytechnic University on the Kowloon peninsula. Rubbish has piled up around the campus, with trash and debris from homemade petrol bombs littered across the grounds. Many protesters have abandoned their equipment, including gas masks and umbrellas. Much of the campus is damaged, with rooms vandalised and windows shattered.
Electricity and water are still functioning. The Asian financial hub has had a brief respite from months of often violent demonstrations, with relative calm across the city for the past two days and nights ahead of District Council elections set for Sunday. The government said late on Wednesday it was closely monitoring the situation to see whether the elections could be held safely.
The university, in the centre of the bustling Kowloon peninsula, is the last campus still occupied by activists during a week that saw the most intense violence since the anti-government demonstrations escalated more than five months ago. China has accused the United States and Britain of stirring up trouble in Hong Kong and it has criticised the US House of Representatives over its passing of two bills aimed at supporting the protesters and sending a warning to China about human rights.
China’s state Xinhua news agency said a top Chinese official in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, had summoned the US consul-general to denounce the legislation as gross interference and violation of international law.