The police response to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in one video

In Hong Kong pro-democracy activists armed with nothing more than goggles, ponchos and umbrellas are taking on riot police wearing gas masks and using tear gas and pepper spray.

(Please note the above video was originally posted on Facebook by a demonstrator but he has since requested that his name not be publicised alongside the footage.)

The above video was posted on Facebook today by an Occupy Central protester near what looks like the government's headquarters.

It shows a protester being pepper-sprayed by a riot police officer from almost point blank range.

It has been covered by the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper with traditional links to Beijing.

The democracy movement, Occupy Central with Love and Peace to give it its full name, is demanding the chance to choose Hong Kong's next leader when elections are held in 2017.

Beijing recently announced that votes from the general public would be counted for the first time for the election, but that only centrally approved candidates would be allowed to stand for the post of chief executive.

The four previous leaders since British rule ended in 1997 were chosen by a committee of hundreds of people with close links to China's Communist Party, but protesters are now effectively demanding universal suffrage in Hong Kong, putting the 'one country, two systems' model under serious strain.

Tens of thousands of people are thought to be in and around the protest zone in Tamar near the government headquarters, with activists being met with a heavy-handed police response.

Hong Kong's current chief executive Leung Chun-ying has said the protests are "illegal".

More: Read OCLP's two demands

The Conversation (0)