October 6, 2014 -- Updated 0307 GMT (1107 HKT)
Hong Kong (CNN) -- Pro-democracy activists in Hong
Kong ignored a deadline given by the government to disperse but allowed
city workers to enter offices that had been blocked last week.
There were no apparent
signs of any police action against the demonstrators early Monday, and
the protest sites were populated but peaceful.
The protesters, many of
them students, have blocked major highways in several key districts for
the past week, challenging a decision by Beijing about how elections
will work in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.
Hong Kong's top leader,
Chief Executive C.Y. Leung, had called on the demonstrators to disperse
by Monday so that classes can resume at schools and government employees
can go back to work at offices surrounded by protesters.
By Monday morning, a key
road adjacent to Leung's office reopened, although some 100 students
remained camped out in front, according to a CNN staffer on the scene.
The protesters did not
block the paths of Hong Kong government workers, allowing them to enter
the Central Government Office Building through a corridor the students
formed. Workers could be seen entering the building without incident.
The Hong Kong Federation
of Students said at a press conference it had met with three
representatives of the government to try to pave the way for future
talks with Hong Kong's Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, the territory's
second in command, to potentially defuse the crisis.
Lester Shum, the deputy
secretary general for the students' federation, told reporters that the
two sides had failed to reach an agreement, but had agreed to continue
the dialogue, which both parties said would be direct and mutually
He said the students
laid out three conditions for future talks: that the dialogue must be
ongoing, that the student leaders must be treated as equals, and that
real political change must emerge from the talks.
He said the student protesters would continue the protest until they had a productive dialogue.
Addressing crowds at the
protests, the federation's secretary general, Alex Chow, repeatedly
called on protesters to "add oil" -- a phrase meaning "keep it up" -- as
he urged the movement to continue.
The federation also said
in a statement that the government needed to take violence against the
protesters seriously, and refrain from forcefully clearing the sites --
or the occupation would "certainly continue."
'You can see we all want to stay'
There was confusion
Sunday evening as to whether protesters would leave two major protest
locations to consolidate their efforts at the main demonstration site in
the city's Admiralty district.
The protest group Occupy
Central with Love and Peace said on its Twitter account that
demonstrators had decided to withdraw from outside the chief executive's
office, a key point of tension with authorities.
But after the tweet was
sent, crowd numbers at the site grew rapidly, according to CNN staff
present, with protesters yelling that it was false information that they
Occupy Central also said
that demonstrators at the Mong Kok protest site, where clashes have
taken place with opponents of the movement, would relocate to the main
protest site on a multilane highway near the government headquarters in
But other protesters did not want to comply with Occupy's announcement. They sat on the ground, and barricades were not moved.
Gary Yuen, 30, who has
been at the Mong Kok site since the protests started, told CNN that less
than 20 people had relocated to Admiralty.
"Today there are lots of supporters," he said. "You can see we all want to stay."
Chow, of the students'
federation, told Hong Kong's public broadcaster RTHK it was up to
individual protesters to decide if they would remain at the Mong Kok
protest, but those who decided to stay should take care for their
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Earlier clashes in busy area
Dozens of people were
injured as scuffles broke out Friday and Saturday at the protest site in
Mong Kok, a tightly packed district of shops and residences surrounding
one of the city's busiest intersections.
Hong Kong government
figures show that 165 people -- 120 male and 45 female -- have been
injured since the protests started last week.
Students and other
protesters have accused police of failing to protect them from attacks
by people who want an end to the demonstrations.
Police have rejected the
accusations, calling them "totally unfounded and extremely unfair to
police officers who faithfully and diligently performed their duty at
The protesters had broken off previously planned talks with the government because of the violence.
Roots of unrest
Demonstrators are upset
with a decision this summer by China's ruling Communist Party to let a
committee stacked with Beijing loyalists choose who can run as a
candidate for the chief executive role in the 2017 election.
A new electoral system
will, for the first time, let the city's 5 million eligible voters pick a
winner rather than the largely pro-Beijing committee of 1,200 members
that has chosen past leaders. But critics argue that the right to vote
is pointless if the candidates are handpicked by Beijing.
They complain the
Chinese government is encroaching too heavily on the affairs of Hong
Kong, which has been governed according to the "one country, two
systems" policy since Britain handed it back to China in 1997.
Support for the protest
swelled last Sunday, when police used tear gas and pepper spray in a
failed effort to disperse demonstrators. The use of such heavy-handed
tactics shocked many residents in Hong Kong, where protests usually
The Chinese and Hong
Kong governments have declared the demonstrations illegal. Beijing has
heavily restricted the flow of information on the Chinese mainland about
the protest movement.
CNN's Pamela Boykoff, Anjali Tsui, Wilfred Chan and translator Daisy Ng contributed to this report.