(Reuters) – Over 100 pro-democracy students stormed Hong Kong government headquarters and scuffled with police late on Friday in protest against the Chinese government’s tightening grip on the former British colony.
Police used pepper spray on protesters who forced their way through a gate and scaled high fences surrounding the compound to oppose Beijing’s decision to rule out free elections for the city’s leader in 2017.
Student leader Joshua Wong was dragged away by police kicking, screaming and bleeding from his arm as protesters chanted and struggled to free him.
“Hong Kong’s future belongs to you, you and you,” Wong, a thin 17-year-old with dark-rimmed glasses and bowl-cut hair, told cheering supporters hours before he was taken away.
“I want to tell C.Y. Leung and Xi Jinping that the mission of fighting for universal suffrage does not rest upon the young people, it is everyone’s responsibility,” he shouted, referring to Hong Kong’s and China’s leaders.
“I don’t want the fight for democracy to be passed down to the next generation. This is our responsibility,”
About 100 protesters linked arms as police surrounded them with metal barricades, some chanting “civil disobedience”.
In the early hours of Saturday, about a thousand students remained outside the government headquarters.