Hong Kong's riot police were called to a narrow street in Mongkok in the Yau Tsim Mong district of Hong Kong on Tuesday (9 February) as a group of angry protesters began demonstrating against authorities attempting to remove illegal street stalls from the area, which were set up for the Lunar New Year. The clashes broke out after police moved in to clear the vendors, or 'hawkers', who has been selling local delicacies, trinkets and household goods from makeshift stalls in conjunction with the New Year celebrations.

The authorities' attempts to remove the vendors from the area resulted in bricks being hurled at police, as other protestors set fire to piles of rubbish and damaged street signs. Within hours, the Nathan Road shopping strip was covered in broken bottles and chunks of bricks, with a nearby taxi parked nearby with shattered windows. As the clashes continued, protestors and police were seen with severe injuries and with nearly 50 riot police at the scene. Some 24 arrests were made.

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Riot police guard a junction with a fire set by protesters at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
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A protester shouts as he is arrested by plainclothes policemen after a clash at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaLiau Chung-ren/Reuters
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A protester throws a basket into a fire during a clash with riot police at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
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Riot police arrest a protester after a clash at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
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Protesters watch a fire burn at a junction at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
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An injured man is escorted away by riot police at Mongkok in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters

The hawkers, a common sight on Hong Kong's busy streets, had quickly attracted a strong social-media following under the hashtag #FishballRevolution. The clashes of December 2014 came as authorities cleared pro-democracy demonstrators from the streets after more than two months of protests that had posed one of Beijing's greatest political challenges in decades. Television footage showed the recent Mongkok protesters shouting "Establish a Hong Kong country!" as they battled with police.

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A protester throws a stone at riot police beside a fire set by protesters at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Protesters throw bricks during a clash with riot police at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
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Bricks are seen behind riot police after a clash with protesters at Mongkok district in Hong KongLiau Chung-ren/Reuters
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Riot police move forward to charge at protesters during a clash at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Protesters monitor riot-police movement on a fence beside a fire set at a junction at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Protesters prepare to throw stones towards riot police after starting a fire at a junction in Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
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Protesters break a pavement for bricks to be thrown at riot police at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Protesters throw bricks as a journalist takes cover during a clash with riot police at Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Riot police stand behind a damaged taxi after a clash with protesters at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
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Bricks dug out from pavements are seen left on a chair after protesters clash with riot police at Mongkok district in Hong KongLiau Chung-ren/Reuters
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A protester reacts to riot police at Mongkok district in Hong KongBobby Yip/Reuters
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An injured policeman receives treatment after clashes with protesters at Hong Kong's Mongkok shopping district, ChinaLiau Chung-ren/Reuters
Mongkok protests
Riot police stand guard in front of a fire set by protesters at a junction in Mongkok district in Hong Kong, ChinaBobby Yip/Reuters