HONG KONG -- Pro-democracy campaigners and supporters of Beijing rule clashed for hours in Hong Kong's busy Mong Kok district on Friday, hours after the financial hub's leader agreed to open talks to end the deadlock. Police held back both sides as a crowd of several thousand lashed out at the "Umbrella Revolution" protesters, shouting "We're taking back Hong Kong!" and "We want to work." Demonstrators demanding the right to choose candidates in the 2017 elections have blocked the district's streets for more than a week.
Earlier, Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying refused to bow to an ultimatum from protesters to resign, but did agree to talks with student leaders — although there was no indication exactly when they would take place, or who would be involved. The protest movement includes a number of disparate groups. Benny Tai, who began the "Occupy Central" movement, insisted the groups’ goals were the same. "We hope that we all can make use of this space to have a good dialogue to solve the current situation," Tai told reporters near Leung's headquarters.
- Ed Flanagan, Kyle Eppler and Alastair Jamieson
Reuters contributed to this report.