Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were subjected to tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray, after police in Hong Kong attempted to disperse massive protests and sit-ins across the region this weekend. The crackdown has led for calls for Hong Kong’s leader Leung Chun-ying to resign as democratic movement spokespeople demand free elections. In a state-run newspaper, Chinese officials called the protests a threat to “social order,” and experts believe they may have even threatened to send in the Chinese army.

The Occupy Central movement and student groups organized the sit-ins that began on Friday, and have drawn massive crowds who are demanding democratic reforms. Though the region is a part of China, it operates semi-independently. However, despite being promised free-elections by 2017, China is only allowing candidates who they’ve individually approved of. The Democratic Party chairwoman told Time, “The people have spoken, and we will work with them to try to secure democracy … Not a single window has been broken. I challenge you to go around the world and to find such huge demonstrations where there is no looting, there is no rioting” …

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