posted at 23:50
Author: Mashable Team
Violent clashes mar the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong
Both the protesters' call to besiege the government offices and the police's tough reaction made a big change from the more than two months of non-violent stalemate, and could see the protests descend into more messy clashes. Thousands had turned out during the evening to listen to speeches being held amid the tent city that is pitched on a multi-lane highway, and show their continued support for the protests. The police push-back duly came amid chaotic scenes as police used pepper spray and batons to re-take the blocked road. The government was forced to close government buildings on Monday morning and suspend legislative meetings. The government issued a statement stating it "Strongly condemned the protesters" for what it said were acts showing "Blatant disregard for the law and endanger public safety." They had so far kept away from the main protest encampment, at the government offices in Admiralty, and for much of the past two months had kept a low profile at all three of the protest sites. Many angrily oppose police violence, and rally round the demonstrators each time the police act tough. What's more, the student leaders are facing increasing dissent and criticism from the ranks of the protesters, who want a way out of the stalemate. By Monday, the question of how long the street protests can continue loomed larger than ever - though with no clear answer in sight.

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