Protesters Remain at Univesity Campus as Hong Kong Schools Reopen

Hong Kong schools reopened Wednesday after a six-day shutdown but students and commuters faced transit disruptions as the last protesters remained holed up on a university campus, The Associated Press writes.

City officials tried to restore a sense of normalcy as primary and secondary classes resumed. Workers began cleaning up debris blocking a major road tunnel, but it was unclear how soon it could be reopened.

A small group of protesters refused to leave Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the remnants of hundreds who took over the campus for several days. They won’t leave because they would face arrest. Police have set up a cordon around the area to prevent anyone from escaping, AP adds.

The occupation of Polytechnic capped more than a week of intense protests, the latest flareup in the often violent unrest that has gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for more than five months.

Since a police siege of the campus began Sunday, more than 1,000 people have been arrested and hundreds of injured treated at hospitals, authorities said. It was unclear how many protesters remained, but they appeared to number less than 100. About two dozen scrounged through supplies in the cafeteria looking for food in the morning, AP adds.

Trash litters public areas, and a stench permeates the campus. One protester, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears arrest, remained adamant. “I think if you go out and surrender, it just shows you agree with what the police and that government are doing or have given up the fight,” he said.

There were scattered incidents of protesters stopping trains by opening emergency doors and blocking traffic Wednesday but on a much smaller scale than last week. Television footage showed long lines at some stations because of train delays. A few stations remained shut because of damage from earlier protests.

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