Pro-democracy protests took a violent turn in Hong Kong early Sunday morning, as police officers clashed with demonstrators in the territory's Mong Kok neighborhood. The scuffles, which caused at least three injuries, occurred amid news that Hong Kong's government plans to meet with student leaders on Tuesday in an effort to resolve the crisis.
Mong Kok's role as a separate front in the protest movement, however, will complicate efforts at a resolution. The neighborhood, located in Hong Kong's Kowloon district, is a densely populated, working-class area where residents living cheek-by-jowl mingle with shoppers drawn to Nathan Road's famous retail area.
Previous protests, by contrast, have occurred in Admiralty, a neighborhood on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Island encompasses the city's most elegant commercial streets and its main government buildings. Protests there, while spirited, have been more orderly than those on Mong Kok, where a lack of sophisticated crowd-control infrastructure has exacerbated the chaos. In Admiralty, groups like Occupy Central for Peace and Love and the Hong Kong Federation of Students are representatives of the students. The protests in Mong Kok, by contrast, have been more spontaneous, and appear to ebb and flow based less on political developments than on behavior by the police.