By Christy Choi
HONG KONG (DPA) — Police clashed with pro-democracy protesters on Hong Kong island early Monday, after a fifth consecutive night of violence in the Chinese territory led to dozens of arrests.
As of 5 am (2100 GMT Sunday), 32 people had been arrested, a police spokeswoman said, including 20 in Admiralty district near government headquarters and 12 in the Kowloon district of Mong Kok.
A pro-democracy protester shouts at police on Lung Wo Road, next to the Hong Kong Chief Executive's Office, Hong Kong, China, 01 December 2014 [EPA].
Four police officers had been injured, government-run RTHK radio reported.
The clashes have intensified since authorities cleared out a major protest camp in Mong Kok last week.
The government advised staff Monday not to go to work at their Admiralty headquarters.
Television and social media images early Monday showed riot police running down the escalators adjoining government offices in Admiralty, where hundreds of protesters remained camped out.
Police accused protesters of moving away from their principles of non-violence by charging police lines.
Hong Kong riot police are seen on Lung Wo Road, next to the Hong Kong Chief Executive's Office, Hong Kong, China, 01 December 2014 [EPA]
Protesters had gathered overnight in response to a threat by a leading student union – the Hong Kong Federation of Students – that it could escalate its months-long protest against restrictions imposed by Beijing on who could become Hong Kong's next chief executive.
Some protesters threw water bottles and umbrellas towards the police, hurling insults, who used pepper spray and batons to push back the crowds.
Protesters told dpa overnight they determined to stay, despite recent polls showing they are losing public favour.
"I don't think the government will do anything if we leave the streets," said Bernie Ma, a 25-year-old legal industry professional.
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