This article is from the archive of our partner .

Hong Kong police dispersed tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters Sunday with tear gas and batons following a tense standoff in which demonstrators from the Occupy Central movement blocked a key road in the government district, defying warnings against illegal protests.

This weekend's clashes between police and demonstrators cap off a week of student protests against China's decision to allow only Beijing-vetted candidates to stand in the city's elections for chief executive — a move demonstrators say is indicative of a wider problem of China imposing its political will on Hong Kong.

"If today I don't stand out, I will hate myself in future," taxi driver Edward Yeung, 55, told Reuters. "Even if I get a criminal record it will be a glorious one."

Photos and videos depicting police action like the one below have been surfacing on social media platforms, many of which suggest unnecessary force is being exerted by police.

And while the tear gas had temporarily dispersed the crowd, they later returned Sunday evening and are said to be rapidly growing in number, according to local media reports and social media postings.

 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.