Welcome to scmp.com's live report on Occupy Central, which kicked off in the early hours of this morning.
Thousands have taken to the streets, with protests spreading and some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares paralysed.
Police have used pepper spray againt the demonstrators and anumber of police have been injured.
Our live report brings you all the latest breaking news from our team on the ground.
6.02pm: Just before 6pm police fired tear gas has been fired into Harcourt Road, scattering protesters.
Police have fired three volleys of the gas, but the wind has blown the smoke plume back towards the police line.
5.50pm: Police have warned that they will "use a higher degree fo force" if crowds do not calm down.
5.38pm: An estimated 2,000 people have gathered on the pavement outside the Lippo Centre and blocked Queensway - another main artery between Wan Chai and Central, stranding buses.
5.23pm: Things are escalating fast. Dozens of police in riot gear and gas masks are now at the scene. Officers are grabbing umbrellas from the crowds at the cordon with Tamar. Demonstrators are passing new umbrellas to the front lines. Pepper spray is being used much more now.
Crowds are now charging the barricades in an attempt to burst into the Tamar protest zone.
3.40pm: The government has released a statement on Occupy Central. It all sounds rather familiar...
On the announcement by "Occupy Central" to formally start its "Occupy Central" movement and on the two demands it made, namely the withdrawal of the decision on Hong Kong's constitutional development made on August 31 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) and the restart of the constitutional development consultation by the Chief Executive, a government spokesman today (September 28) gave the following response:
The Chief Executive and the HKSAR Government have all along been listening attentively to the members of public and are committed to maintaining a diversified society. The public are encouraged to express their aspirations peacefully, rationally and lawfully, and to respect and accommodate different views in the society.
The HKSAR Government is resolute in opposing the unlawful occupation of the Central Government Offices or the Central District by "Occupy Central". The Police are determined to handle the situation appropriately in accordance with the law.
NPCSC's decision on Hong Kong's constitutional development has been made in strict accordance with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law and after detailed and careful deliberation of the actual situation of Hong Kong and the views of various sectors of the community. It is legally binding.
The NPCSC has decided that the HKSAR elect its next Chief Executive in 2017 by universal suffrage. This is an important step forward in the constitutional development of Hong Kong and is surely better than a stalemate.
The Chief Executive and the HKSAR Government will, in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant decision of the NPCSC, try all efforts in a bid to implement the election of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017. The Government will launch the next stage of the consultation on constitutional development shortly. It appeals to various sectors of the community to engage in rational discussions through peaceful and lawful means, to reach a consensus while accepting differences and to allow the five million eligible voters in Hong Kong to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 by one person, one vote.
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