Out of Patience

Hong Kong Mob Attacks Protesters

A backlash against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong appeared to be rising Monday. Angry crowds tried to charge barricades set up by pro-democracy protesters downtown, and a mob of masked men, apparently colluding with taxi drivers and truck drivers, rushed protesters and took down some of the barricades. Dozens of people, many of them middle-age or older men, shouted “Open the road!” They were restrained by police officers. Separately, police started taking away unmanned barricades and plastic safety barriers at the edges of the central financial district ahead of the morning rush hour. The developments come a day after Chief Executive C.Y. Leung said students who have been leading the protests have an “almost zero chance” of forcing Beijing to change the way Hong Kong’s leader is nominated. The students had set electoral reform as a condition for talks to end the crisis. Leung also said he was confident the protests “cannot go on for a long time.”