A pro-democracy protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask sits near AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE
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Hong Kong authorities on Thursday urged thousands of pro-democracy protesters to immediately end their blockade of the city center and said any attempt to occupy administrative buildings would be met with a resolute and firm response.The mostly young protesters have demanded Hong Kong's leader, Leung Chun-ying, step down by the end of Thursday, threatening to occupy government buildings if he fails to do so.Leung, appointed by Beijing, has refused to stand down, leaving the two sides far apart in a dispute over how much political control China should have over Hong Kong.Steve Hui, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong police force, said police would take action in accordance with the law if the protesters tried to enter government buildings.The Hong Kong government said the protests, now in their sixth day, were affecting public order and public services.However, protesters calling for free elections reacted angrily when Beijing decreed on Aug. 31 that it would vet candidates wishing to run in Hong Kong's 2017 election.
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