September 27, 2014 / 6:13 PM / 5 years ago

Hong Kong pro-democracy movement Occupy kicks off blockade of city

A 82-year-old resident joins thousands take parting in a pro-democracy rally outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong September 27, 2014. REUTERS/Liau Chung-ren

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The leader of a Hong Kong movement seeking greater democracy announced in the early hours of Sunday the launch of a campaign to blockade the heart of the financial center to demand greater freedoms in the former British colony.

The news came as tens of thousands of people massed in the center of Hong Kong less than 24 hours after riot police fired pepper spray to disperse activists who had stormed government headquarters to demand full democracy.

Benny Tai, leader of the movement Occupy Central with Love and Peace, made the announcement after he joined students in the heart of the city to show his support for their protests.

Reporting By Diana Chan, Yimou Lee and James Pomfret; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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