HONG KONG – Rebellious students and anti-government protesters abandoned their occupation of at least one major Hong Kong university after a near weeklong siege by police, but some other schools remained under control of demonstrators on Saturday.
Major traffic disruptions plagued the city even as schools and universities remain closed in the city of 7.5 million people.
Police retook control of suburban Chinese University of Hong Kong after students and protesters left.
Authorities said that all northbound lanes of Tolo Highway, which the protesters had blocked, were reopened and the southbound lanes would follow soon.
Police and protesters fought intense running battles at the Chinese University campus Tuesday, which had been transformed into a fortress by hundreds of protesters.
The presidents of nine universities issued a joint statement late Friday calling on the government to resolve the political deadlock and restore safety and public order.
“No political viewpoint gives a license to damage property, employ physical threats, or use violence against individuals,” the statement read in part. “It is regrettable that societal disagreement has led to university campuses becoming major political battlefields, and that the government response has so far not been effective.”
The anti-government protests are now in their sixth month.