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Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters retake demonstration site from police

Just hours after Hong Kong officials cleared a pro-democracy protest site in the Mong Kok district, about 9,000 demonstrators clashed with police in an effort to retake control of the area, BBC News reports.

Activists used umbrellas — which have become a symbol of the movement as demonstrators use them to deflect pepper spray — as they pushed back past police, eventually re-occupying the streets and shutting down traffic. Dozens of protesters and police officers alike were wounded in the skirmishes, and authorities arrested at least 26 people.

The clashes come just days before student activists and government officials are scheduled to meet and discuss the protesters' demands, although Hong Kong leader CY Leung has repeatedly said China will not reassess its stance on vetting all candidates for Hong Kong's 2017 elections.