Hong Kong: The police on Friday ended their two-week siege of a university campus in Hong Kong that became a battleground with pro-democracy protesters as activists vowed to hold fresh rallies and strikes in the coming days.
Police said they have lifted their blockade on Hong Kong Polytechnic university after officers cleared a campus that’s been besieged for nearly two weeks amid a violent standoff with demonstrators.
READ MORE: China threatens US over law on Hong Kong
Renewed calls to hit the streets came after Beijing and city leader Carrie Lam refused further political concessions despite a landslide victory for pro-democracy parties in local elections last weekend.
Sunday’s district council polls delivered a stinging rebuke to the financial hub’s pro-Beijing establishment and undermined their argument that a silent majority were tired of the nearly six months of increasingly violent protests.
They also ushered in a rare period of calm following weeks of spiralling unrest, with no clashes or tear gas battles between protesters and police for more than a week.
But the calm spell looks set to end as public anger grows once more over the lack of response to the election results by Beijing and Hong Kong’s leaders.
READ ALSO: US Senate passes Hong Kong rights bill
In China this week, state media has sought to downplay and discredit the weekend ballot while Lam, who boasts record-low approval ratings, has acknowledged public dissatisfaction but ruled out further concessions.
Online forums used to organise the mass movement have since called for a major rally on Sunday and a strike on Monday targeting the morning commute.
“If the communist Hong Kong government ignores public opinion, we will blossom everywhere for five or six days straight… We have to set a deadline,” read one post on the Reddit-like LIHKG forum, which got heavy approval from users.
The calls raise the spectre of a return to the kind of weekly political chaos that has battered Hong Kong for nearly six months and plunged the city into recession.
READ MORE: Hong Kong campus protesters fire arrows as unrest spreads
On Friday, police said they were closing the book on one of the most violent chapters of the protest movement – the siege of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.