Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong became violent when attackers, many from unconfirmed backgrounds, tore down demonstrators’ tents and attempted to force them from the streets.

The Guardian reports that student leaders called off talks with the government as they accused officials of standing by as the demonstrators were attacked. Hopes of a resolution to a mass movement that has seen tens of thousands of people in the city’s streets were dashed.

The Guardian reported Friday:

The veteran democracy activist Martin Lee and Occupy Central leader, Benny Tai, blamed triads for the violence in Mong Kok, a densely populated area also popular with shoppers. The area is known for its gang presence.

Police later confirmed that some of the 19 people arrested had triad backgrounds.

Lee told the South China Morning Post: “It was very ugly in Mong Kok; clearly the anti-Occupy people deliberately caused a scene and created trouble, giving police an excuse.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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