Protest paralyses Hong Kong's CBD

28 Sep 2014 by ReggieHo

Thousands of mostly students unsatisfied with Hong Kong government's progress on democratic reform have struck a protest that has paralysed traffic in the city's major financial district of Central. They have blocked Gloucester Road, Central, a thoroughfare that runs through several business areas on the northern side of the main island.

The police force has been attempting to disperse crowds with tear gas, pepper spray and batons throughout Sunday. But as of 3am on Monday (September 29) morning, a significant number of protestors refuse to leave and Connaught Road is still blocked. The Admiralty station of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), linked to major commercial complex Pacific Place, was shut off for much of Sunday.

The protest has since spilled across the harbour to the Chinese Special Administrative Region's Kowloon District, with crowds gathering in Mongkok, another major business area.

Hours away from the beginning of the first business day since the protest gathered momentum, it is still uncertain if traffic will resume when office hours commence. Some businesses with offices in the area have already asked their employees to work from home this Monday.

Those who are travelling to Hong Kong for business in the coming days are advised to pay heed to the news before arrival. The MTR may be a better option than street-level transportation modes, although some stations might still be affected when the train reopens.

Update: 12:17

Protestors continue to cause widespread disruption to Hong Kong's transport system and central business districts.

The Occupy Central movement has calmed down following dramatic scenes during the night involving tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, however many commuters still faced difficult journeys into work this morning, as arterial roads remained blocked and the MTR became congested.

Public transport facilities to and from the airport are likely to be affected throughout the day as main thoroughfares including Connaught Road, Queensway and Gloucester Road continue to be occupied by demonstrators.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will continue to monitor the situation. 

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