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HONG KONG — Hong Kong cleared most of the main pro-democracy protest site on Thursday as police hauled activists away, marking an end to more than two months of street demonstrations that have blocked key roads in the Chinese-controlled city. Many activists chose to leave the Admiralty site, next to government buildings and the Central business area, peacefully, but the overall mood was one of defiance as protesters chanted: "We will be back."

Groups of up to four police arrested holdout protesters one by one hours after workers used wire cutters to remove barricades and dismantle bamboo scaffolding. Martin Lee, one of the founders of the main opposition Democratic Party, student leader Nathan Law, media mogul Jimmy Lai and legislators were among those arrested.

Hundreds of police swept through other parts of Admiralty, checking tents before dragging them away along with metal barriers, plastic sheets and umbrellas, which activists had used during clashes to guard against pepper spray and baton blows. A decapitated cardboard cutout of Chinese President Xi Jinping stood in front of a police line."The movement has been surreal. No one knew it could last more than two months ... in a place where time and money are most important," said protester Javis Luk, 27.


— The Associated Press